Bruce Willis has made a few excursions outside of his favorite genre for the sake of some worthy scripts (and some unworthy ones: see North), but generally speaking he’s an action man through and through.
Just in the past couple of years, Willis has played tough guy roles in The Expendables 2, Looper, RED 2 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and this year he’ll reprise his role as John Hartigan in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s comic book sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
No one can deny that Willis has stamina, and Deadline reports that he’s lined up for yet another action movie, this time a futuristic sci-fi called Vice. The movie takes place in a city where humans act out their most violent, depraved and perverse fantasies on androids. Eventually one of those androids gains self-awareness and decides that she’s not a fan of this treatment – so she escapes with a plan to return and take the whole organization apart.
The android will be played by Ambyr Childers (2 Guns), while Willis will play Julian, the owner of the Vice resort where people come to get their kicks out of being bad. The film has a budget of $15 million and will begin shooting in Alabama in mid-March, so expect further casting announcements soon. Grindstone/Lionsgate films will distribute.
Androids gaining self-awareness and rebelling against their masters isn’t exactly a new concept in sci-fi, nor is the concept of robots being used for consequence-free cruelty. What Vice might be able to do, however, is to really unpack the human drive to live vicariously through, for example, video game characters or action movie stars. Many people who wouldn’t harm a fly in real life are drawn to entertainment media with very violent and depraved content, and it makes for an interesting dichotomy.
With that in mind, let’s not get our hopes up too high for Vice just yet. The film was co-written by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore, the latter of whom was one of the writers on last year’s lackluster Red Dawn remake. Fabrizio and Passmore are also working with Willis on The Prince, a gangster movie about a former crime boss trying to find his kidnapped daughter. There may come a day when Bruce Willis gets tired of shoot-outs and chase scenes, but today is not that day.
We’ll keep you updated on Vice as the project develops.