As a writer and producer, Dean Devlin has had a hand in some of the highest profile projects of the last quarter of a century. Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla – all have been revisited repeatedly by Devlin and others, in numerous media. This is why – even though he is not the most prolific filmmaker – when he sets up a new property, people pay attention. We pay even more attention when he casts an actor like David Tennant (Doctor Who, Jessica Jones) in a thriller like Bad Samaritan.
The script comes from Brandon Boyce, who previously wrote effective dramas Apt Pupil and Wicker Park. It centres on two young men working as car valets, who use their position to rob the homes of their customers. Inevitably, they eventually rob the wrong home, and face some unexpected consequences.
The first thing that is very clear about this movie is that it is about men. The car valets are men and, since they are described as being young, we can assume that David Tennant has been cast as the owner of the home that proves problematic when the valets try to rob it. This puts it almost in the vein of 2011’s Fright Night, which also featured David Tennant. He is a powerhouse performer, so this should be quite entertaining to watch.
Will he be monstrous, or murderous in teaching these young thieves a lesson? Will he be more like Doctor Who, or more like Kilgrave? Most importantly, will there be anyone in the film that isn’t a man? These questions and more look set to be answered once production is underway. Principal photography is due to begin later this year, in Oregon, and it is not yet clear the effect this will have on Geostorm – which was to be Devlin’s debut as theatrical film director. That movie has already been delayed once, from March 2016 to a later 2017 release. Bad Samaritan seems to be a film of a much smaller scope, so perhaps we will see that one first.