RocknRolla Gets Early Praise - Guy Ritchie Confirms Sequels
Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla's domestic future may be uncertain, but we're hearing from across the pond today that the forthcoming film - arguably a true return to the kinetic complexity of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch - is "brilliant" and "absolute class." Bear in mind, we're hearing this from the oft-suspect U.K. publication The Sun (warning: source story contains a small spoiler), but I have no doubt in my mind that the chaps are correct this time around. The praise is some of the first to hit the mainstream, but it's not necessarily surprising. What is an eye-opener is that Ritchie has revealed that he's "written a second and sketched out a third" film already! We've know the film's trilogy direction for some time, but it's great to hear work is actually being put against those early claims.
I'm going to revel in the promise here for a second and not recall Warner Bros. chief Alan Horn recently describing the film in a financially pejorative way as being "very English" and therefore not broadly commercial stateside. Who doesn't want to see this film? While Revolver was definitely dodgy, Lock, Stock and Snatch each hold a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the latter film made more than $30 million domestically. This certainly isn't Dark Knight territory, but for Ritchie, who brings such a unique sensibility to albeit modestly produced double-crossing capers, that is marked success by most accounts. And with Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, and Tom Wilkinson of Michael Clayton fame leading the production, is there any chance of RocknRolla not scoring with audiences?
Perhaps this first salvo might help to wake domestic studios to snatch up RocknRolla and commit to a timeline and marketing plan. The film hits theaters in the UK come September 5th, but it looks like US audiences will have to wait quite some time, although Warner Brothers has tentatively set a limited release throughout October with a wide release hitting on October 31st. I really hope another studio gives this film a chance in the US and bolsters Ritchie's plan to follow it with two more films. The guy is immensely talented and if he truly brings anything on the level of Lock, Stock or Snatch again (which it sounds like he has), I'll be totally blown away. Are you looking forward to RocknRolla?