by Jason Barr Posted: February 23rd, 2013 at 11:48 am
I’m opening myself up to complete public failure here, but in the spirit of Oscar weekend I thought it might be fun to share with peers and readers alike my picks for tomorrow’s 85th Academy Awards. Worst case scenario, I figure, is that my picks are so woefully off base that I’m quickly offered a well-compensated position within the Republican Party as a polling analyst. High hopes, I know, but ultimately it’s all in the name of fun. Here’s to hoping you the reader will enjoy comparing your predictions against my own and sleeping better at night as a result of your superior Oscar guessing power.
My half-witted Oscar picks aside, this week’s edition features category previews plus Adam and Matt’s own predictions, Snitch interviews with Dwayne Johnson and more, a character guide to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a roundup of recent Star Wars: Episode VII talk, and Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement. Something that resembles a brief recap and link to each is starved for your attention after the jump.
At first blush, writer/director Ric Roman Waugh’s action drama Snitch looks to be much heavier on the action part of that descriptor. If you go into the theater having glimpsed at the movie’s trailer, poster and clips, or if you just know that it stars Dwayne Johnson (Faster), you might be expecting just another fun but shallow B movie. Hopefully you’d be pleasantly surprised, like I was, to find a much more complex plot that raises the stakes for each of its fully-realized characters in a way that tests the viewer’s limits of believability without crashing through them, all while delivering on the promised action sequences. Hit the jump for my review of Snitch.
Opening this week is Ric Roman Waugh’s new thriller Snitch, based on the true story of a man (Dwayne Johnson) whose son is wrongly accused of dealing drugs and is facing decades behind bars under the mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Johnson strikes a deal: he will help lead to an arrest if his son can go free. He convinces one of his workers, an ex-con played by Jon Bernthal, to make an introduction and the two get caught up in a massive undercover mission that could lead to the arrest of a Mexican Cartel drug lord, but at a potentially deadly cost. The film also stars Barry Pepper, Benjamin Bratt, Rafi Gavron, and Michael K. Williams as a frightening local drug dealer.
Recently, I was able to sit down for an exclusive interview with director Ric Roman Waugh. Waugh told talked about working with Dwayne Johnson and the rest of his dream team ensemble, his days undercover as a parole officer to do research for his previous film Felon, why they chose Shreveport, Louisiana as the home for this film and how his background as a professional stuntman came into play. He also gave me an inside scoop on his upcoming projects: a documentary about a Delta Force operator and the film Currency, which will take inspiration from the documentary and Waugh’s own experiences to tell the story of military vets coming home to an unwelcoming future.
Relativity Media announced today that Felon director Ric Roman Waugh has been set to helm the sci-fi thriller Tipping Point. The film is set 100 years in the future where the world’s population has reached 10 billion, and the penalty for having children without a license is death. The story centers on a ruthless Population Control Officer with a passion for his job who suddenly discovers that two fugitives he’s been pursuing are the love of his live who mysteriously disappeared years ago and the 12-year-old son he never knew he had.
Earth’s rapidly increasing population is a serious issue that seems to be ignored or skirted far too often, and so it makes for an intriguing film premise. Waugh will direct and rewrite the script for Tipping Point based on an existing draft by Todd Stein. Waugh recently wrapped the action thriller Snitch with Dwayne Johnson, which opens this coming February, and is also attached to the oil rig disaster film Deepwater Horizon. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Summit Entertainment has tapped Ric Roman Waugh to direct a feature film based on the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster that occurred in April of 2010. Per Deadline, the film is titled Deepwater Horizon and is based on The New York Times article Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour by David Barstow, David Rohde and Stephanie Saul. Scripted by Matthew Sand (Ninja Assassin), the film will focus on the oil rig workers that were on site during the explosion that killed 11 people and injured 16 others. We’ll apparently see the minutes leading up to the explosion and the survivors’ attempt to stay alive.
Waugh has a long career as a stuntman on his resume, and previously directed 2008’s Felon. He’s currently filming his follow-up feature, Snitch, with Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon. No word on how soon Summit is hoping to get Deepwater Horizon into production, but Waugh will presumably be busy for quite some time with Snitch.
Actress Susan Sarandon is currently in negotiations to join the action thriller Snitch. Ric Roman Waugh (Felon) is directing, and Dwayne Johnson is set to star as a father whose teenage son is hit with a 30-year prison sentence due to mandatory minimum drug laws. Johnson takes matters into his own hands and goes undercover to take down a senior drug dealer in order to reduce his son’s sentence. The story is based on a Frontline documentary, and Waugh rewrote Justin Haythe’s script himself.
Heat Vision reports that Sarandon will be playing “an ambitious U.S. attorney who believes that a drug bust can help her political career.” The role was originally envisioned as male, but pairing The Rock with Susan Sarandon was presumably too awesome to turn down so the part was reconfigured. Sarandon recently wrapped the Adam Sandler/Andy Sandberg comedy I Hate You Dad and is currently filming the Wachowskis’ adaptation of Cloud Atlas and Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep.
Often imitated, but never duplicated, the legendary Evel Knievel was an American icon of the 60s and 70s and a pioneer for today’s extreme motorsports athletes. Now, with contemporary stunt vehicles, safety regulations and CGI backdrops, Evel Knievel will ride across our screens once again. Ric Roman Waugh is partnering with Exclusive Media Group to direct an adaptation of the Leigh Montville biography of Knievel titled “The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend.” With more than twenty years experience as a stuntman (that include Days of Thunder and Gone in Sixty Seconds) and as writer/director of 2008’s Felon, Waugh possesses the unique ability to provide on-screen mayhem while letting us get to know the man behind the motorcycle. Speaking with Risky Business, Waugh said:
“This is my Walk the Line. Instead of concerts and songs, you’re doing a daredevil guy. But it’s less about the stunts and more about an exploration of a man who let nothing stand in the way of his quest for fame and glory — including his own mortality.”
For more on Waugh and Knievel, hit the jump.
Dwayne Johnson is in negotiations to star in Snitch, an action thriller that New Line has been developing for years. Ric Roman Waugh (Felon) will direct and rewrite the script by Justin Haythe, which centers on a suburban dad who goes undercover to convict a drug dealer in order to reduce his teenage son’s 30-year prison sentence. That logline first sounded silly to me, but it turns out Snitch is based on the true story of devoted father James Settembrino, as documented in the Frontline segment “Snitch.” Read more about the story after the jump.