If you've forgotten the details, I managed to dig up this spread Empire mag did last year, that breaks down the whole thing. I still have no idea whether to laugh hysterically (particularly at Michael Bay's sure to be atrocious Big Dumb Action Movie), or weep at the exploitation and misinformation. As far as stunt casting goes, I think Bay's film has the edge, with every single main cast member being either horrifying, or clear exploitation of the intended audience. Fincher's is a little more subdued, although he's not left wanting for award winners and nominees. Transcripts at the bottom of the post.
Considering all the recent details that came to light about S.H.I.E.L.D.'s real agenda, I'm pretty sure both of these films are going to be hideously inaccurate - not that anyone is expecting accuracy from the guy that bought you Pearl Harbour. While Fincher is usually pretty good with the details, his film is all about the lead up to the insanity, which we have almost no official information on. Having said that, if Aaron Sorkin is writing the script, I can only hope for some gloriously sensationalised Tony Stark quips a la Andrew Garfield's glorious 'pretentious douchebag' quote.
Now that the release dates are getting closer, billboards have begun popping up. Stark posted this on his instagram a few days ago, looks like he's pretty excited for The Tower. Good to see he has a sense of humour about the whole thing. Cap, on the other hand, was looking a bit embarrassed as he was snapped walking past a bus shelter in New York, after a near miss with what looked like a modified and pilotless Iron Man suit.
I guess the best thing to do now is wait for the trailers. And don't forget about that new Howling Commandos miniseries coming from HBO. OH MY GOD CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW FILLED WITH NEEDLESS AND GRATUITOUS SEX THAT IS GOING TO BE?
Empire Magazine article transcript below the cut
There's a battle on the horizon, but this time the aliens are fake. Just one week after David Fincher announced his low-budget (yes, really!), political-thriller based on the events leading up to the Battle of New York, Michael Bay has come along and revealed his own intent to make just the opposite – his typical, over-the-top blockbuster, focusing on the attempted invasion itself.
So what do these two films have in common?
Well, apart from the characters and basic, publicly known events... not much. Fincher has promised to include very little of the actual battle, instead choosing to focus on the behind-the-scenes action. Using material from various government, media, and witness sources, It's a film that he says “will give us pause, and hopefully make cinema-goers reconsider their thoughts on those we deem to be powerful enough to lead us into the future.”
“It's not a big dumb, action movie. It's a hard look at those we trust to protect us in our time of need. I make movies that make you squirm, and this will be no different.”
The film, titled Zero-Sum Game, is due for release in November 2014, and will feature an eclectic cast from both film and television. Fincher says the casting process was the easiest he's ever experienced. “Every actor picked had an immediate affinity for their role,” he said.
“I was absolutely astounded by each and every one of them. We did a read through of the script last week, and the atmosphere and vibe in the room was very exciting.”
Existing on a different plane all together is Bay's $300m CGI behemoth. Also with a release date in November '14, Bay says The Tower will be filled with astonishing visual effects, set pieces, and plenty of familiar faces. “I wanted to make a movie that America wants to see, and if this isn't it, then I don't know what is.”
Zero-Sum Game and The Tower will be competing against two more huge releases. The as-yet untitled twenty-fourth installment of the James Bond franchise will be released in the first half of the month, and part one of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay will drop with great fanfare on November 21.
These two directors have played their cards close to their chests for a long time, with many going as far as to speculate that neither was planning anything in the foreseeable future. Now that filming is about to get underway, we're expecting to see plenty of set photos from Bay's side of the fence, but we wouldn't be surprised if Fincher keeps things a little more low-key.
Ensemble political-thriller , with a focus on the five years leading up to the Battle of New York. More Zodiac than Fight Club, Fincher says not to expect a big action sequence at the end of the running time. “It's more about the individuals, and how their stories interconnected long before space-whales started coming out of the sky.”
- Iron Man: Christian Bale – He's already played Batman, so the actor has experience playing a billionaire hero. Will the completely different personas be a struggle, or will this veteran character actor pass with flying colors?
- Captain America: Jensen Ackles – With most of his roles being mostly in Television series, the Supernatural star has a rabid fanbase. With wholesome all-American good looks, we can't think of anyone more suited to play Captain America.
- Black Widow: Olivia Wilde – She has plenty of action cred thanks to films like Tron: Legacy, and Cowboys and Aliens, but will that help in this world of politics and espionage? Having said that, we can't wait to see her as a redhead.
- Hawkeye: Benjamin Mackenzie – You may remember Ben from The OC, andthe brilliant but underrated Southland.
- Thor: Alexander Skarsgaard – Refusing to let his role as Eric on True Blood typecast him, Skarsgaard will have to bulk up a lot to play the extradimensional being with the big hammer.
- Bruce Banner: Edward Norton - Norton has proven to be an exceptional and low key character actor, but it will be interesting to see how he portrays the most reclusive of this famous group of heroess. Rumor has it, Norton has signed a multi-film deal with Universal, are we going to get more of Hulk on the big screen?
- Loki: Benedict Cumberbatch – After playing the bad guy in Star Trek: Into Darkness, and the title role in the BBC's Sherlock you'd be hard pressed to find anyone on the planet who disagrees with this casting decision.
- Pepper Potts: Naomi Watts – Watts is reportedly very excited to be playing the woman who has bee referred to by Forbes as the most powerful woman in the world.
- Agent Z: Vera Farmiga - At forty, the actress' career is going from strength to strength. After roles as operatives in both Source Code and Safe House, she looks to be a sure bet.
- The Director: Forest Whitaker – When asked about his role by a reporter, Whitaker replied “Apparently I get to wear an eye patch – I'm not sure whether that's a character thing, or something else.”
- Agent X: Alison Brie – An alum of both Mad Men and the recently renewed Community, Brie is reportedly playing one of the most important roles in the film.
A classic Bay action movie, The Tower is likely to have very little set-up, and a lot of CGI action. Bay is staying tight-lipped about the storyline, but you can bet that it will involve a lot of stunts, a lot of one-liners, and a lot of artistic license.
- Iron Man: Nicolas Cage – Cage is also serving as executive producer on The Tower, and was reportedly dissatisfied with all others who auditioned for the role of Iron Man. He certainly has the ability to pull of larger than life characters, and we're interested to see how far he will take this in his portrayal of Stark.
- Captain America: Channing Tatum – Tatum has a busy year coming up, and after the lukewarm reception to White House Down, he's going to need a big hit to keep him on the top of the Hollywood 'it' men.
- Black Widow: Mila Jovovich – We loved her as Alice in the silly but watchable Resident Evil films, but is another action role really what Jovovich should be choosing?
- Hawkeye: Kellan Lutz – He's famous for playing one of the bad vampires in Twilight, and since then hasn't done anything particularly memorable. Still, his role as Poseidon in Immortals does make us wonder if he wouldn't have been more suited to the role of Thor...
- Thor: Dolf Lundgren – The entire office burst into laughter when Bay announced Lundgren's inclusion on the team, but as far as stunt casting goes, it's pretty inspired!
- Bruce Banner: James Van Der Beek – Dawson playing The Hulk. Huh.
- Loki: Russell Brand – It's probably Brand's casting that tipped us off to the exact nature of this film. There can't be any subtlety intended with a comedian like this playing the bad-guy.
- Pepper Potts: Karen Gillan – If you watch the BBC's Doctor Who you'll know Gillan as the fiery redhead companion of the Eleventh Doctor. There's definitely some similarities between Ms Potts and Gillan's character Amy Pond
- Agent Z: Michael Keaton – None of us can remember what Keaton's last role was. Will this be the shot in the arm his ailing career needs?
- The Director: 50 Cent – More stunt-casting, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is likely the first role Fiddy has had which involves playing someone other than himself. This is bound to be either amazing, or hilarious
- Agent X: Jessica Simpson – New mum Simpson has signed on for a small role as the Director's right-hand woman. She has reportedly already started working out two hours a day to get back to the size she was during her Dukes of Hazzard days.