Merely a few weeks out from the start of filming, production has been halted on the revenge drama Motor City. The film, from director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli), has had a rather rocky development, with a number of actors (Dominic Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Renner) flirting with the lead only to subsequently drop out. Gerard Butler was finally set in the starring role of a felon who, after being released from prison, begins tracking down the men who framed him, with Adrien Brody onboard as the villain and Mickey Rourke in a supporting role. Filming was set to commence on September 17th, but the crew has now been told to go home due to some complex issues that have arisen behind the scenes. Hit the jump for more details.
Per Deadline, Motor City came to a halt when the film’s backers realized that the firm March 31st release date would be impossible to meet. As I understand it, this release date was intricately tied to the foreign distribution deals made for the film, so with producers and backers now admitting that they can’t make that release date, those distribution deals now need to be reworked. As such, the film could not secure a bond (ie. insurance) to move forward, so production has now been halted.
Warner Bros. issued the release date for Motor City via Joel Silver’s Dark Castle banner, but it’s now unknown if the studio will still be involved down the line. WB was only onboard for distribution, so the film’s financing should still be in place. Here’s how a spokesperson for the pic’s producers and financiers explained the decision to postpone production:
“Faced with the realities of a very short post-production schedule and complicated visual and special effects, the producers have decided to push back production on Albert Hughes’ Motor City. We are dedicated to delivering top-tier productions such as 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg which is currently in production and Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor which is in pre-production. The circumstances surrounding this project made it impossible to meet the firm March 31st delivery date without compromising the quality of the film.”
It’s clear that the film’s producers aren’t ready to scrap the project just yet, but there’s no guarantee that the entire cast will be available whenever they decide to pick production back up again. Butler is currently filming the White House actioner Olympus Has Fallen and has been circling the action-thriller Manhunt. Motor City has remained resilient through a number of stumbling blocks already, so the project may yet survive. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more information becomes available.