Though director Brett Ratner and star Dwayne Johnson are gearing up to start production on their own take on Hercules later this year, the duo is poised to have some competition at the box office by way of director Renny Harlin’s (Die Hard 2, Deep Blue Sea) Hercules 3D. Harlin’s film has now found its star, as Heat Vision reports that Twilight actor Kellan Lutz is set in the titular role. Harlin previously described his take on Hercules as “not a comic book, cartoony fantasy thing,” and said it’s more in the vein of Gladiator. The central story concerns a love affair between Hercules and the mortal princess of Crete, who was promised to his older brother despite her love for the demigod.
The $70 million budgeted Nu Image/Millenium pic is expected to begin production this May in Bulgaria in a race to get it into theaters next March, which would be way ahead of Ratner’s Hercules as that film opens next August.
[With A Good Day to Die Hard set to open this Thursday, we'll be taking a look back at the first four Die Hard movies. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years. Click here for my look back at the first Die Hard.]
There wasn’t a shred of doubt that after Die Hard became one of the biggest hits of 1988, a sequel wouldn’t be far behind. Two years later, Die Hard 2 (with the tagline “Die Harder”, although this is sometimes erroneously believed to be part of the title) opened and became one of the biggest hits of 1990. But the rush came with a lack of ingenuity, and Die Hard 2 is mostly a retread. Rather than focusing on John McClane (Bruce Willis) as the outsider, Die Hard 2 is about how he can’t catch a break. It has to be due to the chronological proximity to the first movie. However, while the sequel lacks originality, its biggest problem is misunderstanding the motives of McClane, and ignoring the conflict between his drive to do the right thing, and once again saving his wife.
If you had to see a movie by Renny Harlin or Brett Ratner, which would you choose? Audiences will have to face that question (because in my Saw-like example, you must choose) because Ratner’s Hercules will now be facing competition from Harlin’s Hercules 3D. Although Harlin hasn’t has a hit film since the Clinton Administration, Millennium has tasked the director to helm a $70 million tentpole based on the Greek demigod. THR reports that preproduction has already begun, casting is expected to begin in the next few weeks, and cameras should be rolling by May so the film can make a March 2014 release date. The rush will get Hercules 3D to theaters before Ratner’s film, which opens August 8, 2014.
Hit the jump for more.
Inspired by the real events of the devastating five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, 5 Days of War is an action-packed thriller that centers around an American journalist, named Thomas Anders (Rupert Friend), and his cameraman, who are caught in the combat zone after rescuing a young woman (Emmanuelle Chriqui) from the aftermath of the first Russian airstrikes against Georgia. As the three attempt to escape to safety, they happen to record the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians, which they desperately want to broadcast for the world, in order to get the truth out.
Recently director Renny Harlin spoke with us about how there was only a blueprint for the script when he became interested in the project, and that telling the story from a journalist’s point of view offered the best way to make it relatable. He also talked about how emotional the experience of actually filming in Georgia was and the extent of support they got from the government and the people. And, he talked about what made him want to try directing television by taking on an episode of the hit USA series Burn Notice, how he’s hoping to do a sequel for The Long Kiss Goodnight with the writer of that episode (show producer Ben Watkins), and how he’s in development on a few different projects and is waiting to see which one comes together next. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
As Blu-ray keeps going we’re going to get releases of some classic films, and Sony has put out to early 90′s action films that benefit from new transfers. Those films are both from 1993: Cliffhanger and The Last Action Hero. The pairing of these films as interesting as they both star action stars from the 1980′s (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone) at the beginning of the end of their runs. But the end of the decade, both had worn out their welcome as the industry shifted towards comic book heroes for their summer thrills. My reviews of Cliffhanger and Last Action Hero after the jump.
A theater-trained Brit, Rupert Friend wanted to be so many different things growing up that he decided to become an actor so that he could just play them all. During the press day for the soon to be released The Young Victoria, the actor talked about having just made the film Georgia, about the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia, and helmed by director Renny Harlin, where he plays an American war correspondent who gets captured and accused of being a spy.
Of working with Harlin, he says that he really enjoyed the experience because, instead of the filmmaker’s usual tendency to use CGI, they were instead surrounded by real Apache helicopters, tanks and the Georgian military.
Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Before we continue, Renny Harlin’s upcoming film “Georgia” is not about The Peach State and the tale how Coca-Cola will one day flow out of our drinking fountains. “Georgia” is based on last year’s conflict between Russia and the country of Georgia. THR reports that hottie/red-carpet eye candy Emmanuelle Chriqui will play opposite Val Kilmer in the drama about an American journalist (Kilmer) and his cameraman caught in the crossfire and a Georgia native (Chriqui) and doctoral student who becomes entangled with them.
Chriqui is best known for her role on “Entourage” playing the love interest of Kevin Connolly’s character, Eric. Since “Entourage’ is a fantasy, I believe the most recent episode featured a tearful goodbye between them before Eric had to go and drop the The One Ring into Mount Doom. Kilmer has appeared in numerous roles but he has a lifetime free pass from me for his performance in “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”. And as for Renny Harlin, he made “Cutthroat Island” and has since kept trying to go even lower with “Driven”, “Mindhunters”, “Exorcist: The Beginning”, and “The Covenant”. I like “Cliffhanger” too but no one should even sell that guy a camcorder after that track record. Anyway, there’s nothing more to say about “Georgia” but if you want to see some pictures of Chriqui letting us all know she’s attractive, hit the jump.