This is one of those "Oh yeah, I remember hearing about that one a while ago," type of movies. Odds are it'll be only UK readers who will have heard of it, since it's British-made and only a UK release date has been set with no word on a US one (surprisingly there's word going around that it won't be released in theaters in the US at all - now that would be a shame).
The film is called Franklyn and it was written and directed by Gerald McMorrow, making his feature directing debut, will be produced by Jeremy Thomas (Fast Food Nation, Tideland) and stars Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green, Sam Riley and Bernard Hill.
For anyone who doesn't know, Franklyn:
"is a split narrative set simultaneously in contemporary London and in a future metropolis ruled by religious fervor. It's the story of four lost souls, divided by two parallel worlds, on course for an explosive collision when a single bullet will decide all their fates."
"Ryan Phillippe plays Preest, a masked vigilante detective searching for his nemesis on the streets of Meanwhile City. Bernard Hill plays Esser, a broken man searching for his wayward son amongst the rough streets of London's homeless. Sam Riley plays Milo, a heartbroken thirty-something desperately trying to find a way back to the purity of first love. Eva Green plays Emilia, a beautiful art student; her suicidal art projects are becoming increasingly more complex and deadly."
And now behold the awesomeness that is the trailer:
Franklyn had been on my radar at one point after hearing about it a long while ago (we're talking well over a year) in Empire or Total Film magazine. And although it premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2008, for some reason no news really came out about it afterwards, and it therefore fell off my radar and practically fully off the movie-news map. But now we finally get an official trailer for it and I have to say it looks awesome. It looks like a kind of mix between V For Vendetta (with the whole "masked vigilante" idea) and Watchmen (with the whole bleak, more realistic nature of it - not to mention the similarities in look between the Preest character here and Rorschach in Watchmen).
Let's hope the similarities to the awful recent film The Spirit, by way of the "vigilante detective searching for his nemesis on the streets....", aren't too similar once we see the actual movie itself.
I love the cast they've assembled, they just seem to be a good fit with one another. Ryan Philippe is an undervalued actor, Eva Green gave a good, "more than just eye-candy" performance in Casino Royale, proving she's got great potential to go onto brilliant things, and young Sam Riley was magnificent as Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in the brilliant Control (if anyone hasn't seen that film - do so asap).
I love it when films of this nature take on a darker, brooding, more pessimistic approach to things as opposed to something like the (in comparison) "light" natured Spider-Man trilogy. But along with it being a sci-fi/action flick it also looks like it's going to be about more than just action - something I'm glad we're starting to see more of with the likes of the aforementioned V For Vendetta and Watchmen (which I've heard is a more dialogue driven story from the graphic novel - correct me if I'm wrong there).
The actual trailer itself really sells it, too. Apart from the music being an alternate version of the overly used 28 Days Later theme (I've lost count how many trailers have used that music), it's chalk full of great dialogue, it looks visually stunning and the story seems very compelling.
However I'm surprised it's taken this long for an official trailer to come out, as the UK release date is only about a month away. Is that a sign of bad things, perhaps?
So does the Franklyn trailer excite you or will you get your fix of this kind of thing this year from Watchmen?
Franklyn opens in the UK on February 20th and there's no word on a US release date as of yet.