Word that Warner Bros. was looking at Tom Cruise as the potential star of the All You Need Is Kill comic book adaptation – a project previously said to have been re-titled We Are Mortals – popped up a couple months ago (from the time of writing this). The bankable star has at last agreed to headline the sci-fi/action flick.
Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) has long been attached to helm the All You Need Is Kill movie, but was previously looking to make the expensive sci-fi thriller Luna his next directorial project. Now that the latter is no longer being co-financed by Skydance, it has been put on the backburner – freeing up Liman to press ahead with his manga-based film instead.
The original All You Need Is Kill storyline revolves around a young Japanese soldier who joins the army, in order to participate in a war against an invading alien force. However, when the young man is killed in battle, he finds himself reborn each morning, ready to fight (and die) on the same day again. In other words, it’s an action-packed sci-fi variation on Groundhog Day – or, rather, Source Code, minus the human-designed technological component that allows the main character to re-experience time over and over.
Dante Harper (the upcoming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) penned the original draft of the All You Need Is Kill film adaptation’s script. Variety says that Harper’s screenplay is currently being retooled by Joby Harold, so that the main character fits the age of 49-year-old Cruise.
Harold, for the record, was the writer-director of the much-derided 2007 Hayden Christensen psycho-thriller Awake. Make of that what you will.
Source Code, as it were, was scripted by Ben Ripley – a fellow whose previous writing credits (ex. Species III and Species: The Awakening) also didn’t exactly inspire much confidence. While that final product was ultimately well-liked by professional and casual moviegoers alike, the film has also (fairly) been criticized as a movie that doesn’t fully deliver on the potential of its premise (see: our Source Code review for more details).
Getting to the point: Liman has likewise often been cited as a capable filmmaker who nonetheless has failed to fully capitalize on the ingenious ideas and concepts behind many of his projects – be it still well-received titles such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Fair Game or a less-than-popular flick such as Jumper. So, one has to wonder if history will repeat itself (pun not intended) and Liman’s All You Need Is Kill adaptation will be a decent, but somewhat underwhelming action flick.
That said – most would agree that Cruise still has what it takes to be a great action hero onscreen (see: early footage of him in the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). So, his involvement with Liman’s new project reads all the more as being a good thing, in that regard.
The All You Need Is Kill adaptation (which may still be titled We Are Mortals) is expected to begin production by the last quarter of 2012, after Cruise completes his work on director Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion movie.