I’m a sucker for a catchy title, and All You Need Is Kill hooks me in a major way. It hooked Warner Bros. as well, who paid an impressive $3 million for the Dante Harper-scripted adaptation of the Hiroshi Sakurazaka novel of the same name. Deadline’s report delves nicely into an analysis of the risks and benefits of writing a full screenplay on spec (i.e. with no deal in place). Namely, your scripting efforts may be for naught if the studios don’t like what they read, but you get to skip the arduous pitching process and the potential financial reward is huge. In this case, Harper came to the studio with a fully fleshed out screenplay with great potential and an awesome title. As a reward, Kill netted the screenwriter a seven figure payday for a film that will find its way in front of the camera by this time next year.
The plot details a futuristic world invaded by aliens with a Groundhog Day twist, but I’ll let the plot synopsis for Sakurazaka’s novel do a better job of explaining it after the break.
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?
It definitely sounds like there is greatness within (there’s a character known as the “Bitch of War”!), though I’m sure it depends on execution. It sure stands a chance of living up to the title. I think you may see a lot of updates from me about how production is progressing, because I want excuses to type out the title over and over again. This refrain is now on its 7th repetition in my head:
All You Need Is Kill
All You Need Is Kill
All You Need Is Kill, Kill
Kill Is All You Need
I’ll leave you with some timeless Beatles psychedelia.