I’m a big fan of director Joe Carnahan. His wilderness thriller The Grey was one of the best films of last year, and even though The A-Team and Smokin’ Aces have their detractors, I’ve had a good time watching all of his films – even going all the way back to his super low-budget debut Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane. The director’s been attached to a number of high profile projects lately, but as is the fickle way of Hollywood, things don’t always work out the way everyone expects; instead of getting to work on a remake of Death Wish or a reimagining of Daredevil, Carnahan is getting back to his lower-budget roots with Stretch, a new movie which teams him with Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Sinister, The Purge).
The film stars Patrick Wilson as Stretch, a down-and-out limo driver with a gambling problem. When he discovers he’s only one job away from paying off his bookie, he takes a gig escorting a mysterious reclusive billionaire with some devious – and possibly dangerous – tastes. As the night goes on, things get weirder and weirder, and Stretch wonders if this depraved client might be his last.
The story sounds like it shares a few elements with some movies that came out last year, most notably David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis (which starred Robert Pattinson as a billionaire who spends the film in the backseat of a limo) and Leos Carax’s Holy Motors (a truly bizarre film about a man who wears multiple disguises and lives many lives over the course of a single day, while being chauffeured around in a limousine). There also seems to be a hint of Michael Mann’s Collateral mixed in there, with a touchy driver/client relationship and the danger that comes along with agreeing to be the transportation for a psychopath.
The rest of the cast includes Chris Pine (as the billionaire), Ed Helms, Brooklyn Decker, James Badge Dale, Shaun Toub, and Ray Liotta and David Hasselhoff playing themselves (!). Production just started – Carnahan tweeted the header image with the caption “…and so it begins” yesterday – and Universal already has a release date eyed for March 21, 2014. We’re stoked about seeing what Carnahan can do when presented with the challenges that arise from working with a small budget – this one’s less than $5 million – and with a cool story like this, this could be a big hit creatively and financially for the director. Sound off with your own thoughts below.
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