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I am dying to see how "Jack The Giant Killer" plays out next year, both as a movie and as a commercial release, because both things are important to the ongoing development of Bryan Singer as a filmmaker.
Creatively, I feel like Singer's one of the most successful guys working who doesn't really have what I can point at as a particular, recognizable voice, nor is there any special theme that runs through his work, aside from perhaps an odd preoccupation with Nazis. And one could argue that his two biggest films were big because of a general interest in X-Men, not because of Singer.
He's also been one of those guys who has developed a number of fairly pricey films that haven't come to fruition, big movies like a "Logan's Run" remake or a "Battlestar Galactica" bigscreen reboot. And his "Superman Returns" was a very very expensive almost, well-crafted but generally underwhelming. He's in a position right now where he is still considered an A-list filmmaker, but it's about time he starts actually being that filmmaker.
So is "Jack The Giant Killer" going to end up being that movie for him? Honestly, looking at the first trailer, I have no idea. The trailer is sort of a strange mash-up of tone, funny in places, but almost looking like a horror movie at times. It also looks like someone saw last year's uber-groovy "Troll Hunter," which is a good thing.
One of the tough things about this sudden glut of fairy tale movies that are all treading roughly the same ground is that we're going to see certain images repeatedly, and it will be impossible to not compare them. And while I'm sure Warner Bros. and New Line are spending a ton to make "Jack The Giant Killer" look great, when I see that beanstalk erupting from the ground, I can't help but think of just how cool the same sequence was in "Puss In Boots" this year, and how hard that's going to be to reproduce in live-action.
With a screenplay credited to Darren Lemke and Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney, with a story by Darren Lemke & David Dobkin, the film stars Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, and Ewan McGregor, and here's the synopsis from the studio:
“Jack the Giant Killer” tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittinglyopens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants.
Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend—and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
The film arrives next summer, and this is just a first trailer, so there's plenty of time to sell the story and the tone, but for now, it's a strange opening shot for a campaign for a film that's really got to explain what it is for audiences that aren't already pre-sold.
We'll know more, I'm sure, by the time "Jack The Giant Killer" opens in 3D and 2D and IMAX on June 15, 2012.