SHOOT ‘EM UP Director Takes On OUTLAND Remake

OutlandPosterWarner Brothers has hired Michael Davis to helm a remake of the 1981 science-fiction film Outland.

The original featured Sean Connery as a marshal investigating a series of mysterious deaths at a mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io. Written and directed Peter Hyams, who would return to Jupiter and its moons in 1984’s 2010, Outland drew comparisons with director Fred Zinnemann’s classic 1952 western High Noon for its protagonist’s dogged determination to bring those behind the miners deaths to justice, even at the cost of his own marriage.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Chad St. John’s screenplay for the new version will stick close to the original’s storyline, but will beef it up to summer blockbuster proportions.

The story takes place in an orbiting city around the moon, where a cop uncovers a murderous conspiracy endangering the entire city. With a week before his retirement back to Earth, our hero has to choose between walking away with his wife, or taking on a private army with his overachieving ex-partner and wife’s former boyfriend.

The original version received mixed reviews, though some critics pointed out that the transplanting of Zinnemann’s High Noon to a western setting was a fairly effective invention.

The thing is, both High Noon and by extension Outland, were very much about their characters and the moral implications of the situations they found themselves in rather than any kind of extended action sequences that one expects from a tentpole-sized film that the Hollywood Reporter claims Warners wants this to be. I have reservations that Davis has the ability to effectively handle this material. He has shown that he has a flair for energetic action sequences, as Shoot ‘Em Up is essentially one long series of such set piecess that paid the barest attention to the characters involved. As a bit of mindless escapism, it works just fine. But as a precursor to a remake of a reimagining of a film described as an “existential Western,” I’m left with some doubts.

No cast or start date for the feature has been announced.

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About Rich Drees 6964 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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August 19, 2009 10:27 am

*SIGH* Another example that Hollywood has lost all creativity.