‘Go big or go home’ – that seems to be the approach Dean Devlin is taking to his feature film directorial debut, as he takes every dramatic buzz-worthy concept, hot-button topic, and Gerard Butler, and hurls them all into the midst of Geostorm.
Having previously co-written and produced huge productions such as Independence Day and Godzilla, Devlin is now ready to take the helm himself – with Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen) in the lead role. The actor will star as a satellite designer, in a presumably near-future version of the world, where the planet’s climate is controlled by these hi-tech machines patrolling the atmosphere. When one begins to malfunction, Butler and his estranged brother must race against the clock to fix it, before the earth is decimated by a man-made mega-storm. Oh, and there’s a presidential assassination plot to contend with, too.
Although it sounds very much like the big, brash tentpole movies we have come to associate with Devlin, the movie was initially developed independently by Skydance Productions. The storm clouds began to gather momentum and power, however, when Warner Bros. recently picked up the project, with Skydance and Devlin’s Electric Entertainment on board for producing duties. Butler – who is steadily building a solid reputation as an action star, with Point Break and Gods Of Egypt on his slate – was then quickly attached.
A cynical, jaded, cash cow-weary attitude to this project might suggest that this movie synopsis sounds like film by committee. The shopping list of themes to hit in order to produce a massive box office thrill ride can easily be pictured – let’s start with some climate change and threatening weather, and throw in the dangers of allowing technology to become too powerful. Now, we’ll mix in some FX-heavy action scenes in space, and fix a broken family while we’re at it. Now, what are we missing? Ah, yes – political intrigue. Let’s throw in a conspiracy to murder the president, and we’ve got ourselves a movie. It’s The Day After Tomorrow meets The Terminator/The Matrix meets Gravity meets Olympus Has Fallen. All that’s needed is the announcement of a cookie-cutter subordinate love interest for the leading man, and all the boxes will be ticked.
Or, perhaps this project will be a pleasant surprise. Stranger things have happened at the multiplex, after all. Perhaps Dean Devlin has been quietly observing the way that cinema has progressed in his twenty two years as a screenwriter, and is planning for his feature film directorial debut to be something refreshing and subversive – breathing new life into the tired concept of the global disaster flick.
Will Geostorm clear the cinematic air, or will we need to advise audiences to evacuate? Watch this space for further forecasts.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter