In a post-Harry Potter and soon to be post-Chris Nolan directed Batman world, Warner Bros are just desperate for new tentpoles (see The Twilight Zone movie we just spoke about) and they are aggressively moving forward with many a potential new project. One they have been keen on adapting more than most is Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need Is Kill which they paid a princely $3 million for the film rights too last year, quickly attaching Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Jumper) to direct, and they have been desperate to land an A-list star to justify the money and effort they have put behind it.
Their first choice was Brad Pitt but he turned them down. We then heard in October they wanted Tom Cruise and after several weeks of deliberation (Liman even flew to the set of the currently filming One Shot to convince Cruise to sign on) they finally got their man today and the film will shoot late next year. Thankfully too they have also dropped the heinous title ‘We Mortals Are’ that they thought about using recently (though All You Need Is Kill also needs changing, I feel).
According to Variety, the high concept sci-fi thriller will find Cruise playing a new army recruit killed in battle fighting an alien invasion. He is forced to relive the day of his death over and over again in an attempt to change his fate. In the process he becomes a better warrior. A little Source Code meets Groundhog Day-ish, I guess, but with much more action.
Fans of the novel will cry out that as written it demanded a younger actor (the much, much younger Ryan Gosling was once linked to it) but it’s ended up with the Cruise-meister who has forever had a knack of pissing off those who are looking for loyal adaptations of a book they love. Just look at how they reacted when he was cast as Jack Reacher in the Lee Child thriller One Shot that he is currently filming.
All You Need Is Kill was written by D.W. Harper (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) and has more recently been re-written by Joby Harold (Awake) to suit an older star.
An interesting movie for Liman/Cruise who have both been coasting and settling for mediocre material for too long. Let’s hope this one gets both talented guys back on track…
Cruise is currently filming One Shot before moving on to Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion in January and seems to be on a relentless, no-rest mission to prove he has still got it. For Liman, it’s unlikely he will work before delivering this movie but he has shown recent interest in the Sheldon Turner, potentially Oscar-baiting Everest – about George Mallory’s fatal expedition to climb the world’s biggest mountain.