The last time we reported on The Tomb, it was a Bruce Willis-starring vehicle that was to be directed by Training Day helmer Antoine Fuqua; now, the action flick is minus a director and has a new leading man, in the form of Willis’ Expendables costar/buddy Sylvester Stallone.
[UPDATE: The Tomb may have a new helmer after all. Read on for the details.]
Speaking of Sly’s Expendables pals – another one, namely Arnold Schwarzenegger, is currently giving serious thought to signing on for The Tomb. In a case of things coming full circle, Ah-nuld had originally considered making the film his starring comeback vehicle, before he decided to move ahead with The Last Stand instead.
Stallone is starring in The Tomb as Ray Breslin, a “foremost authority on structural security” who manages to concoct the ultimate escape-proof prison, just before irony rears its ugly head and Ray is framed for a crime that results in him being incarcerated in one of the very prisons he designed. AICN has the scoop on Schwarzenegger being interested in the film (again) but there’s no word yet on whether he would play the villainous figure who sets Breslin up – or one of Breslin’s inmates, who helps him execute his daring escape plan.
That Tomb plot synopsis, combined with Stallone being cast as a brilliant architect, is the sort of ridiculous setup you would expect for a decades-old action-thriller starring, say, Jean-Claude Van Damme or Stallone himself; hence the latter aging action icon’s interest, no doubt.
Sly’s been scratching that 1980s/90s itch for years now and he doesn’t look to stop anytime soon, seeing how all his upcoming films (Bullet to the Head, The Expendables 2, Rambo 5, and The Tomb) are all throwbacks to a bygone era of Hollywood action moviemaking. Of course, as far as Stallone’s longtime dedicated fans are concerned, that’s more than fine.
Schwarzenegger’s riding on the same boat as Stallone, with his impending slate of films also being “old-fashioned” thrillers that (in theory) will allow the ex-Governator to (partly) relive his glory days from the late ’80s/early ’90s; so, it makes all the more sense that he’d also be interested in a project like The Tomb.
The Tomb was originally scripted by Miles Chapman (Road House 2: Last Call) before his draft was rewritten by Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher, the upcoming Mirror Mirror). With such a hilariously contrived narrative setup in the first place, we can only hope that Chapman and Keller haven’t held off on including some catchy (cheesy) one-liners and over-the-top set pieces, so that this possible Stallone/Schwarzenegger team effort lives up to its potential as a fun homage to the pair’s classic work – and an entertaining popcorn flick in its own right.
While the next item on Schwarzenegger’s to-do list is Black Sands (a.k.a. Commando with a supernatural twist) we should find out for certain whether or not he’s starring in The Tomb before he sets to work on the former; likewise, expect to hear about a new director officially signing on for that Stallone vehicle soon.
UPDATE: “Soon” was definitely the right word to use there. Deadline is now reporting that Mikael Håfström (1408, The Rite) is in talks to direct The Tomb. Similarly, the director is said to be working with Chapman on ideas for a revised draft of the film’s screenplay.