The Book Of Eli is a (spiritual?) post-apocalyptic movie starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman, directed by two of my favorite (underrated) directors, Albert and Allen Hughes, better known as The Hughes Brothers (From Hell, Dead Presidents).

Screen Rant hasn’t done much reporting on The Book Of Eli so far: we were waiting for a real first look at the film before we got too deep into it. Now we have that first look (thanks to USA Today), in the form of some production stills from the Albuquerque, New Mexico set of The Book OF Eli. Have a look:

Washington’s Eli comes to a fork in the road. Said Allen Hughes:

Eli’s iPod has run out of juice and to the right is the road that leads into Carnegie’s (Oldman) town. Eli makes the decision to go into town, power up his iPod and refill his canteen.

Washington’s Eli in the Orpheum Theater looking for water, only to run afoul of some locals. Said Allen Hughes:

…This is the moment where the noble man (Eli) decides he has to kill some folks.

Washington apparently shed sixty pounds to play Eli (including the thirty he gained for The Taking of Pelham 123).

According to Washington he wasn’t initially interested in The Book Of Eli. It was his son – the same one who convinced him to do Training Day (which netted him and Oscar) and American Gangster (a nomination) – who ultimately convinced him to take on the role of Eli. Talk about a free agent!

Oldman plays Carnegie, the “President/Mayor/Spiritual Leader, etc., etc.,” of a desolate town. Carnegie becomes interested in Eli when he learns the man is carrying a book that may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Power struggle likely to ensue.

The Book Of Eli boasts an impressive supporting cast including Mila Kunis, Michael Gambon (Dumbledore from Harry Potter), Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone) and eccentric music man, Tom Waits. I’ve already said how much I like The Hughes Brothers (their documentary American Pimp is one of my all-time top guilty pleasures), and I know that just between the two of them, Washington and Oldman can bring gravitas to an otherwise barren wasteland.

Consider me onboard for The Book Of Eli.

How about you? Did you like the first photos from the film?

The Book Of Eli hits theaters on January 15, 2010. (Uh-oh, should I be worried about that Jan release date?)

Source: USA Today via IESB