A full two years after principal photography was completed on the disaster movie Geostorm, the film is going back for reshoots. Indeed, the Skydance production has faced a rocky road to release as the Gerard Butler-fronted thriller has had its release date pushed back a number of times. It marks the directorial debut of Independence Day and Stargate co-writer/producer Dean Devlin and revolves around a man (played by Butler) who goes into space in order to prevent climate-controlling satellites from creating “a man-made storm of epic proportions.” As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a subplot involving an assassination attempt on the president of the United States—although it’s a good thing Butler’s involved, as he honed his “stabbing-people-in-the-head-while-protecting-the-president” skills on Olympus Has Fallen.
Per THR, test screenings of the film did not go well, and once Jerry Bruckheimer was brought in as a consultant and later producer, the decision was made to go into reshoots. The studio enlisted Danny Cannon, the directing producer on Gotham and filmmaker behind the Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd, to direct the reshoots, which reportedly cost up to $15 million.
The reshoots are described as “significant”, with a brand new scientist character having been created while a character previously played by Kathryn Winnick (Vikings) was recast. Shutter Island scribe Laeta Kalogridis wrote the pages for the reshoots, which took place in early December in Louisiana.
This is a significant setback for Skydance Productions, which independently produced the feature as part of its effort to forge new territory as a studio beyond its established franchises like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. It misfired with the pricey reboot Terminator: Genisys, and now these troubles on Geostorm are not exactly welcome.
That said, reshoots aren’t always bad news. World War Z famously reconceived and reshot its entire third act in post-production, and it ended up being the best part of the movie. And Star Wars: The Force Awakens underwent a number of reshoots as J.J. Abrams shaped the film in post-production. So it’s entirely possible that Geostorm will be a pleasant surprise when it finally hits theaters—which is marked for October 20, 2017.
We’ll find out next fall, but for now this is certainly a curious development on a project that’s been in the works for a very long time. In addition to Butler, Geostorm also stars Ed Harris, Abbie Cornish, Jim Sturgess, Andy Garcia, and Mare Winningham.