There was a time when Doug Liman was an interesting filmmaker, but it seems so long ago that I can barely remember why I enjoyed his early movies. Swingers and Go belonged to the stable of ’90s indie “dramedies” that the decade became so synonymous for. Then came The Bourne Identity, which was slightly better than competent and helped launch the Matt Damon/Robert Ludlum franchise, only to be overshadowed by Paul Greengrass’ superior entires. After that, Liman seemed to run out of gas, churning out vanilla PG-13 action fare like Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Jumper, both of which I know I saw yet couldn’t describe a scene from either to you in order to save my life (there was an elevator in Mr. &. Mrs. Smith? Maybe some cake?). The rest of the aughts found Liman Executive Producing TV shows like Suits and I Just Want My Pants Back, the latter of which sounds like a serialized Nick Nolte biopic.
Now comes Railhead, an adaptation of a yet-to-be-released children’s novel for Warner Bros. which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is set in “a futuristic world where trains run through space via portals.” I guess that sounds like a Doug Liman joint. Then again, a live-action Care Bears adaptation sounds like a Doug Liman joint at this point.
The Hollywood Reporter goes on to describe Railhead, saying:
“…the main character is a petty thief hired to steal an object that happens to be more important than he was led to believe, setting off an adventure that could change the course of the galaxy.”
Sweet. More bullshit MacGuffins that probably make no dramatic sense and only exist to provide some semblance of manufactured stakes. That’s what 90% of Hollywood film seems to run on now anyway, so it sounds like Railhead will fit right in with the pack and probably make $300 million.
Liman has the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt mech movie Edge of Tomorrow coming on June 6. Warner Bros. must be pretty pleased with that film if they want to hook Liman up with this project.
Reading back over this story, I probably should’ve just titled it Apathy: The Jacob Knight Story. Then again, no one would probably read that.