As global warming and climate change continue to be hot topics in our global political conversation, art imitates life. Disaster movies tend to score big at the box office and give audiences a thrill, and this trend has not waned in recent years. For instance, despite widespread criticism, Independence Day: Resurgence recouped nearly three times its $165 million budget at the box office. Though no recent environmental disaster movies have stuck in pop culture as firmly as classics like Twister and The Day After Tomorrow, that may be about to change.
Skydance and Warner Bros. hope to shake the foundations of the disaster film with fall premiere Geostorm, which follows Jake (Gerard Butler) as he plans to travel to space to repair technology that is adversely affecting the weater on Earth. Jake and his companions struggle as natural disasters take over the entire world, causing political and structural mayhem. Skydance promised us a trailer for the film yesterday, and they delivered this morning, with a chilling (no pun intended) glance at the storm-induced apocalypse.
The trailer focuses primarily on the film's worldwide devastation, as an eerie rendition of "What a Wonderful World" floats over images of horrific tsunamis and unimaginable storms. Hot climates become icy hellscapes, buildings are blown away, and scientists run amok in this crazy peek at the upcoming movie. Check it out for yourself, above.
Geostorm marks the feature directorial debut for Dean Devlin, who sports an impressive resume as a producer. Devlin certainly knows his disaster films, as he was one of the original producers behind both Independence Day films and the 1998 Godzilla reboot. Star Gerard Butler, meanwhile, is taking a break from fantasy-period action films like 300 and Gods of Egypt to take on this role. He also stars in upcoming polar action flick Hunter Killer, based on the novel Firing Point. Geostorm also features Abbie Cornish (Bright Star, Sucker Punch), Alexandra Lara (The Reader), Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, Cloud Atlas), and Ed Harris (Westworld) in prominent roles.
This movie seems like a possible Razzie nominee, but the trailer is, admittedly, pretty awesome. The use of creepy pop song renditions in trailers is an extremely cool trend that's become popular in the last decade or so, and perhaps reached its peak with The Social Network, whose trailer features a haunting a cappella children's choir cover of Radiohead's "Creep". The juxtaposition between song choice and visuals in the Geostorm trailer sucks you in, and the political message behind the film is particularly resonant. That's all to say, this movie probably won't win any Oscars, but it has a whip-smart marketing team.
Here's hoping that Geostorm remains a fictional fantasy for the future, and that it offers a thoughtful contribution to the disaster genre. Even if it doesn't achieve the latter, it looks like this movie could be a fun one to watch.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures/Skydance