It looks as though Tom Cruise's upcoming production docket might become all the more jam-packed, now that he's being approached to headline Warner Bros.' We Are Mortals - a project which was previously set to retain the title of its Japanese comic book source material, All You Need is Kill.
For those who haven't been keeping track: Cruise will be back in theaters in this winter's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol; is starring in next summer's Rock of Ages musical adaptation; has begun working on the Jack Reacher novel adaptation, One Shot, which arrives in early 2013; and remains locked to headline director Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion comic book adaptation, a project currently scheduled for a Summer 2013 theatrical release.
Warner Bros. was reportedly considering Brad Pitt as a potential lead for We Are Mortals (which was then still being referred to as All You Need Is Kill) just a couple of weeks ago, but THR is saying the studio has now approached Cruise about the project. Whether that means Pitt is essentially no longer a contender - or that Warner Bros. is just hedging its bets - is not clear.
Here is a semi-official synopsis for Hiroshi Sakurazaka's original All You Need is Kill comic book:
There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death?
We Are Mortals was reportedly scripted by Dante Harper (the upcoming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) and clearly "Americanizes" Sakurazaka's source material, so that it makes sense for a Hollywood A-lister like Pitt or Cruise to play the lead role.
We Are Mortals already has - and likely, will continue to - draw comparisons to director Duncan Jones' sci-fi thriller, Source Code, which hit theaters this past spring. The former also looks to feature elements of the Halo video game series and is expected to be more of a visceral and action-heavy flick than Jones' film, given the involvement of director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity).
Liman has demonstrated himself to be a pretty decent filmmaker, though he could (and has) been criticized for not always delivering final products that realize the full potential of their ingenious premises - be it the "marriage can literally kill you" setup of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the pseudo-science and mythos of the Jumper universe, or even the polarizing political subject matter of Fair Game. That's not to say Liman's movies are bad - just that they could be better. Hence why there's reason to be concerned that We Are Mortals might not live up to its potential... even more so than Jones' good-but-flawed Source Code did.
On the other hand, Cruise and sci-fi have made for a potent mix in the past (see: Minority Report) and the We Are Mortals narrative setup sounds intriguing. So, assuming Liman snags a competent leading man - be it Cruise, Pitt, or someone else entirely - this could be something quite memorable. As always, we shall see...