The first news about the supernatural science fiction thriller film Spectral started to come out over three years ago, and big studios including Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures were involved, yet it is only now that the film is seeing a release—and on Netflix, at that. Perhaps “direct to Netflix” is the “direct to video” of the 21st century?
In any event, the movie drops December 9th internationally on the streaming service, and today, Netflix released a trailer revealing the film’s very detailed effects and set pieces. Some have described Spectral as a bit of a “supernatural Black Hawk Down;” you can see for yourself if you agree by watching the trailer. The official logline for the movie from Netflix is rather short, teasing that “when an otherworldly force wreaks havoc on a war-torn European city, an engineer teams up with an elite Special Ops unit to stop it.” You can see the trailer below.
The cast of Spectral includes James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Emily Mortimer, Bruce Greenwood, Clayne Crawford, Cory Hardict, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Jimmy Akingbola, Dylan Smith, Philip Bulcock, Royce Pierreson, Ursula Parker, and Mark O’Neal… likable actors, yes, but the lack of a big “star name” might have been what kept this film from having a wide theatrical release, despite the pedigree of many involved.
Commercial director Nic Mathieu helmed Spectral which was written by Ian Fried, John Gatins, and George Nolfi from a screen story by Fried. Mathieu was at one point attached to Warner Bros.’ Robotech film which saw the rights moving over to Sony in 2015. Fried is best known for his short film Singularity which was co-written with Samuel Jorgensen; Gatins was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay for Flight. Nolfi’s writing credits include Ocean’s Twelve, The Bourne Ultimatum, and the short-lived television series Allegiance.