Is the video game movie genre on the cusp of a renaissance, similar to that which the superhero movie genre has enjoyed over the past 10-15 years? There's certainly a growing number of ambitious game-based projects that are heading down the pipeline, including Assassin's Creed with Michael Fassbender, Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy, a gritty origin story/reboot for Tomb Raider Lara Croft and the many video game adaptations that Ubisoft has set in motion through its newly-formed production company, Ubisoft Motion Pictures.
A Kane & Lynch movie - based on the game franchise about two escaped death row inmates-turned buddies - entered development around six years ago, i.e. before this new wave of video game film properties. However, it's been essentially stuck in a ditch (figuratively, one presumes) since 2010; though, it appears that is about to change, now that (re-)casting for the project is getting underway.
Heat Vision is reporting that Gerard Butler is circling the role of Adam "Kane" Marcus - a heavily scarred and gruff mercenary - in Kane & Lynch, which has F. Gary Gray lined up to direct (sidenote: Gray and Butler previously collaborated on Law Abiding Citizen). In addition, the site reports that Nu Image/Millennium Films has sent out an offer to Vin Diesel to play James Lynch - portrayed in the video games as a balding and overweight schizophrenic gunman with a dark sense of humor - but is waiting to see if the fan-fave actor has any interest in tackling the role.
Butler will next star in Summit's mythological fantasy Gods of Egypt, before he sets to work for Millennium on the Olympus Has Fallen sequel - titled London Has Fallen - slated to begin principal photography near April 2014. Meanwhile, Diesel needs to complete filming on Fast & Furious 7 and then finish his voice work/motion-capture performance as Groot the talking alien tree in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
The duo previously lined up to headline Kane & Lynch - Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx - were not exactly obvious matches for their respective roles in the film, but would Butler and Diesel be an improvement? Well, arguably, Butler possess the sort of no-nonsense macho presence that could work alright for Kane, whereas Diesel has the charisma and character actor chops (see: Find Me Guilty) to slide fairly comfortably into the role of Lynch. I could even imagine Diesel allowing himself to look more unkempt and paunchy, like what Christian Bale did for American Hustle.
Honestly, the bigger concern may be who's involved behind the camera on the Kane & Lynch video game adaptation. Not so much director F. Gary Gray - who has solid films like Friday, The Negotiator and The Italian Job (2003) under his belt - as the screenwriters, seeing how the duo credited for the current script draft includes Skip Woods (A Good Day to Die Hard) and Kyle Ward (Machete Kills). Frankly, those credentials don't bode for the film, regardless of who ends up starring.
Who do you want to see headline the Kane & Lynch movie? Would Butler and/or Diesel be a decent choice, in your opinion?
We'll let you know more about Kane & Lynch when we do.