Doug Liman’s name has been attached to an adaptation of the Japanese novel All You Need is Kill since June. Although Liman was Warner Bros.’ first choice to helm the project, he was already involved with their previously announced Three Musketeers film.
Given how quickly Paul W.S. Anderson’s competing 3D version of The Three Musketeers came together, Warner Bros. decided to put their adaptation on hold and Liman has been searching for his next project ever since.
There were rumors he might direct a Coen Brothers-scripted remake of Gambit and there have even been rumblings of a Jumper sequel, but Variety has confirmed that Liman’s next film will be All You Need is Kill.
Warner Bros. has been developing the property since they bought Dante Harper’s spec script back in April. Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s 2004 novel, All You Need is Kill follows “a new recruit in a war against aliens, who finds himself caught in a time loop in which he wakes up in the past after having been killed on the battlefield. As the soldier's death and resurrection repeat, his skills as a soldier grow and he attempts to change his fate.”
The project has been described as Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day and while the premise is an intriguing one, it also sounds incredibly similar to Duncan Jones’ upcoming film Source Code. However, the two directors have vastly different sensibilities and something tells me All You Need is Kill is going to lean a little heavier on the sci-fi/action elements.
Liman is certainly a competent and creative director, but I’ll admit his career hasn’t evolved quite the way I would have predicted. After his early work on films like Swingers, Go, and The Bourne Identity, I felt like he was going to be a force of nature once he found his footing.
Instead, recent films like Jumper and Mr. & Mrs. Smith have featured promising concepts whose execution resulted in something that felt half-realized - at least for me. Hopefully his upcoming political thriller Fair Game is a bit more cohesive.
Although I think All You Need is Kill sounds interesting, I was more excited about Liman’s potential involvement with a film based on the 1971 Attica prison riots. So while my initial instinct is that this is a step backwards for the eclectic filmmaker, I’m going to stay optimistic and hold out hope that All You Need is Kill turns out to be more than just a cool log line.