Gamer is a project we haven't covered on Screen Rant thus far, but this early piece of marketing for it has spawned that coverage on our part. Originally titled Game, then Citizen Game, and now Gamer, the film is a unique idea from Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. The filmmaking duo are known for bringing us the two Crank movies, Pathology, and writing the upcoming comic-book adaptation Jonah Hex (they were also previous attached to direct that, but dropped out due to creative differences).
The story goes like this (from the official website):
Gamer is a high-concept action thriller set in the near future, a time when mind-control technology has taken society by storm. Humans control other humans in a mass-scale, multiplayer online game. Reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) has created the controversial form of entertainment, "Slayers," a hugely popular game that allows millions to act out their innermost fantasies and desires - online - in front of a global audience. Gaming has evolved into a terrifying new dimension... mind control... mind manipulation... people playing people!
At the center is Kable (300's Gerard Butler), the superstar and cult hero of "Slayers," the savage, ultraviolent first-person shooter game. Kable is controlled by Simon, a young gamer with a rock star status who continues to defy all odds by guiding Kable to victory each week. Taken from his family, imprisoned and forced to fight against his will, the modern day gladiator must survive long enough to escape the game to free his family, regain his identity, and to save mankind from Castle's ruthless technology.
I don't mean to sound blunt but that sounds frickin' awesome!
The film stars Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall (who's amazing on the TV show Dexter), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes' Peter Petrelli - playing a character called "Rick Rape"), Aaron Yoo, Ludacris (the director assures us that he's awesome in it...), Alison Lohman, Kyra Sedgwick, John Leguizamo, Johnny Whitworth, Zoe Bell (the stunt woman from Death Proof) and Amber Valetta.
Before I move on, do yourself a favor and check out the fantastically creative interactive teaser poster that's been released for the film:
I had heard about this project about a year or so ago when Nevaldine and Taylor were talking to our good friends over at The Movie Blog on their live podcast show - I heard the set stories, heard about the revolutionary camera they used to film it (the Red One camera - only the second movie to use it), and found out about the wicked cast they've assembled.
Only the guys who brought us the Crank movies, which are basically the movie equivalents of video games themselves, could not only just come up with something as loopy as this, but actually get the thing financed and made.
Although it's probably an unfair and unjust comparison (the directors have actually specifically negated the comparison themselves personally), it does sound a little reminiscent of Death Race, the Jason Statham action remake from last year. However, the one clear difference just from that plot synopsis is the fact that Butler's character is fighting against his will, whereas Statham's in Death Race was willingly doing it to get out of prison.
Obviously there are already movies out there that play on the whole video game-esque style, namely The Running Man and Tron, but I believe Gamer will be the first that deals explicitly with the fact that it is a video game, specifically the online multiplayer type.
If you were lucky enough to catch the leaked Italian trailer for Gamer a few months back, you would have gotten the glimpse of just how Gamer's world is going to look, particularly how the little boy controlling Butler's character is going to physically take shape. It was something along the lines of that if the boy (Logan Lerman, who you may remember as Christian Bale's son in 3:10 To Yuma) moves his arms then Butler's character, Kable, would do the same thing.
It's hard to explain, and you'll probably have to wait for the official trailer to get a look at how it works. But for now, trust me, it's extremely cool.
It's clear from Nevaldine and Taylor's movies up until this point that they are unique filmmakers. There may be some people who have issues with their explicit content - strong language, copious amounts of blood and violence, strong sex scenes - but what can't be denied is that these guys bring a sense of enthusiasm and love for entertainment to the making of their movies. They aren't out to win Best Picture, they just aim to make movies that are fun - And Gamer certainly is shaping up to be another one of those movies.
It'll be interesting to see how the pair work with a film with as big a budget as this one undoubtedly had. Although not anything like Spider-Man 3 in budget size (I presume, anyway), it's certainly much higher than what they had to work with in either of the Crank movies or even those two combined. It could either stifle the creativity that was forced due to the low budget in the Crank movies, or it could just provide them an even bigger and more elaborate platform to inject even more of that creativity into one movie.
I suspect the latter...
Screen Rant will be sure to keep you up-to-date on the stuff that gets released for Gamer in the future.
For now, what do you make of the idea for the movie and what about that wicked interactive teaser poster?
Gamer is scheduled for a September 4th release this year.