Never one to let much time go by without a new movie entering development, action star turned romantic comedy mainstay turned action star again Gerard Butler has signed on to lead the cast of the upcoming sci-fi adventure film Geostorm.
Written and directed by Dean Devlin (Independence Day, Godzilla), Geostorm will star Butler as a gruff but likable satellite designer. When the world's climate regulating satellite array goes haywire, Butler is called in to prevent a man-made super storm from decimating the planet. Complicating things is the fact that, to do this, Butler will have to work closely with his estranged brother, whom he has not spoken to in years. A space mission is sent up in hopes of repairing the satellites, but a covert plot to assassinate the president back on Earth points to this disaster possibly being a planned event.
Previously developed independently by Skydance Productions, the rights to Geostorm were recently sold to Warner Bros., although Skydance will remain onboard in an executive capacity. Devlin's Electric Entertainment is also lined up to help on that end. Devlin is primarily known for his film and television producing career, which means Geostorm will be his feature directing debut, though he did helm multiple episodes of TNT's Leverage.
For his part, Butler's latest film was the somewhat Devlin-esque action flick Olympus Has Fallen, and the Scottish actor can next be heard reprising his role of Stoick the Vast in Dreamworks' sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2. In 2015 and 2016, Butler will be returning for Olympus' sequel London Has Fallen, as well as toplining Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt and taking over the Patrick Swayze role in a remake of 1990s hit Point Break. To say that the former King Leonidas has a lot on his plate would be a definite understatement.
While it's not too surprising that Devlin would be attracted to a project like Geostorm - the over-the-top premise certainly recalls many of Devlin's projects with longtime collaborator Roland Emmerich - the plot may just be too busy for its own good.
The description makes it sound like Geostorm is trying to be a sci-fi disaster film, a space adventure, and a conspiracy thriller all at once, when the more advisable route would be to concentrate on making just one of those elements as good as it can be. Quite frankly, both the title and plot also seem a bit like a Syfy original movie. Add in a space tornado full of sharks or make the climate satellites cause every volcano on Earth to erupt, and Geostorm could almost pass for an Asylum mockbuster.
The enjoyment level here will likely rise and fall on two main factors, those being Butler's lead performance and the quality of the sure to be mountains of CGI special effects. If either one of those elements comes up short, audiences will likely find themselves losing their patience with Geostorm's seemingly cliched storyline. For Devlin's sake, let's hope Geostorm ends up being more Deep Impact than The Core.
Geostorm enters production this fall, and has no currently projected release date.