Tom Cruise in Talks for Doug Liman’s WE ARE MORTALS (Formerly ALL YOU NEED IS KILL)

     October 8, 2011


Warner Bros. is in search of a major star to topline their adaptation of All You Need Is Kill, now going by the title We Are Mortals.  The studio first wanted Brad Pitt, a natural choice since his Mr. and Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman is the man in charge of Mortals.  Pitt must not have jumped at the chance to reunite with Liman, because according to THR, Warner Bros. is in talks with Tom Cruise for the starring role.  The news is briefly mentioned in one of those “Tom Cruise Is Back!” features the trades are fond of.  (It’s worth a read if you can stomach revelations like, “[Cruise is] working cheaper at times—sources say he’s getting just $5 million for Ages.”  In other words: not worth a read.)

The premise of the Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel is an eye-catcher: “A young Army recruit who, despite being killed in the first day of intergalactic alien invasion of Earth, is continually resurrected Groundhog Day–style to the day before he was killed.”  Full synopsis after the jump.

all_you_need_is_kill_book_cover_01I really like the title All You Need Is Kill.  I hope it comes back around over at Warner Bros.  The synopsis:

There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death? [Amazon]

Cruise obviously can’t play a “young Army recruit.”  I imagine the studio is ready to retool the role as written by Dante Harper if they can land someone of Cruise or Pitt’s stature.  Although maybe Cruise is up for the role of platoon sergeant Ferrell Bartolome, whom Wikipedia describes as, “An overly fitness-conscious man who takes care of his subordinates.”

But seriously, guys—Tom Cruise is back!  He will next be seen in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on December 21, followed by his selfless $5 million role in Rock of Ages on June 1, 2012.  One Shot and Horizons are in the works for 2013.

  • aromcath

    The only thing that comes to mind is that Keiji Kiriya is specifically Japanese, furthermore the military he’s attached to is in fact the Japanese Self Defense Force. Both of these facts come up in plot points and character arcs through the narrative. The reason I bring this up is to step beyond the “white washing” argument, because I sense no genuine ill will or malice towards Japanese or otherwise Asian actors. But again the Japanese details come up in a handful of dedicated plot points, so we’re either talking about a script that does its own thing entirely which is the more likely scenario, or that a focus group somewhere decided a Japanese hero might be a touch too far for a world wide audience to hook into. Its worth mentioning its probably the same focus group, or even worse a team of lawyers and agents, that curb stomped the Kill tittle. Which while a shallow point still does give me a bitter taste.

    That all being said, even as a fan of the book I understand when you’re turning a book into a movie, you have to have the intuition to cut what doesn’t translate to film and add in visual and timing elements that otherwise the book is able to ignore or draw out. So I won’t go on ranting about how the story appears to have been butchered. I haven’t read the script so it can’t be said just yet, and again there is the very real possibility any changes are for the better when it comes to putting this story on film.

    But if I could, one thing I keep seeing copy and pasted from other source materials and that is the botched synopsis for the story/novel, “A young Army recruit who, despite being killed in the first day of intergalactic alien invasion of Earth, is continually resurrected Groundhog Day–style to the day before he was killed.” The truth of the matter is if we’re going of the novel is its already long into the global war against the Mimic’s, and on the loosing side at that. Both of which come up as plot points at the beginning and around the forth act. Hell this is one of the narrative mechanics that makes Rita Vrataski, aka The Full Metal Bitch/ Bitch of War, so important because she and her unit have been one of the few turning powers in the war. But enough with this petty point.

    Anyway, at the end of the day and bringing this wall of text back to the titled point. Cruise is a fine actor, or at least he’s done stuff that I’ll say was both really cool and greatly played, Vincent out of Collateral being my go to example. I also get WB just wants any giant name attached to their big expensive science fiction movie, given the immediate risk of pitching this story to an audience who’s previous attachment to the genre in mass is kind of fickle. Anyway as far as casting nouns go, there are a few roles that come to mind outside casting Cruise as the protagonist, that being a member of the US Special Forces present during Keiji’s timeloop that’s under/apart of Rita, the aforementioned platoon Sargent who in the book is a Japanese-Brazilian who immigrated to Japan, and lastly there is the small part of a war journalist who’s forgone seeking shelter from the aline invasion with the masses to fallow and report specifically on Rita. Eh either way my gut tells me Cruise hasn’t been asked about the part directly, and wouldn’t want it anyway given the lack of known source material or really strong names attached. So down the ladder of A list actors we go.

    • Hiro the Eighth Samurai (and 14th Assassin)

      This sounds like another mindless, soulless, heartless, whitewashed wreck just waiting to happen.

      Warner Bros. really loves to whitewash, don’t they? They’re taking many movies that specifically call for a Japanese setting and Japanese characters, with Japanese cultural and historical touchpoints, and yet they want to whitewash it. Are they that clueless?

      Why not just steal the idea and write up their own script? They have at least three or four movies based on stories/books/movies set in Japan, heavily based in Japanese history, culture and figures but they’re going to wipe virtually all of that away and just have the movies exist in title alone.

      Then what’s the point of having Akira still go by that name?

      Warner Bros. They are quite the desperate, stubborn and ignorant lot, aren’t they?

  • Debra Righetti

    I’ve always wanted to see Tom Cruise do a movie with Julia Roberts and one with Tom Hanks.

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  • Junierizzle

    I prefer the new title.

  • Jorgensen

    Ah, the righteous anger of film journos. I suppose the “selfless” in quotation marks implies that Cruise is a douchebag for claiming he was selfless for only taking 5 million dollars?

    The thing is, he didn’t, did he?

    I’m pretty sure all your readers know that 5 million is a lot of money. But if someone normally makes 15 to 20, then 5 is not exactly a lot.

    So guess who’s the douchebag here.