It’s the Terminator union that nobody expected (asked for?), as Sam Worthington circles Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Ten. The Terminator Salvation and Avatar alum has already headlined Man on a Ledge and Wrath of the Titans this year, which’ve both performed less-admirably than hoped for at the box office (and been given an even colder critical reception).
Ten is one of several upcoming Schwarzenegger vehicles meant to re-establish the brawny star as a lethal weapon onscreen, during his post-California politics acting career (along with The Expendables 2, The Last Stand, The Tomb, and The Unknown Soldier).
Variety describes Ten as a “testosterone-heavy riff” on Agatha Christie’s classic murder-mystery story Ten Little Indians (a.k.a. And Then There Were None). The script by Skip Woods (Swordfish, The A-Team) follows an elite DEA task force that steals millions in revenue from a drug cartel during a raid on one of its safe houses. Thereafter, the team members are mysteriously killed, one by one.
There’s an element of Commando to that premise, with a mystery enemy hunting down members of an elite squad. It’s not surprising then, to learn that David Ayer is directing Ten, considering he’s already written a script draft for the Commando remake. Furthermore, given the recurring themes of corruption and moral compromise in Ayer’s previous work (Training Day, Dark Blue, Street Kings), it’s a good bet there’s a traitor among Worthington and Schwarzenegger’s ranks - who’s struck a deal with the aforementioned cartel (possibly, one of those two actors).
Arnold put in a good showing at the Comic-Con panel for Expendables 2, and his longtime fanbase remains loyal enough to turn out for his second run as an actor. It could be argued that Worthington stands to gain more than his (almost) 65-year old costar does, given that he’s yet to demonstrate any major drawing power, when not appearing in a mainstream popcorn genre flick (see: The Debt, Texas Killing Fields, etc.).
Ayer has End of Watch due out in a couple months, and this writer can testify that the movie looks to offer a visually-experimental (more importantly, interesting) take on the street cop drama sub-genre, based on what was shown at Comic-Con. If Ayer carries over some of that technique to Ten, it could add some needed spice to what otherwise reads as a gritty, but familiar, serving of action-drama from the filmmaker.
We’ll keep you updated on Ten as the story develops.