Action Thriller 'Motor City' with Gerard Butler Can't Start the Ignition
by Ethan Anderton
September 3, 2012
Even though the the gestating action thriller Motor City just gained a new villain after Adrien Brody replaced Gary Oldman, the film from Albert Hughes has had a lot of trouble casting the film. Names like Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Renner and Dominic Cooper were linked to the lead role, but they all fell away from the project. Gerard Butler stuck with the project as it worked towards their production start date on September 17th, but now it appears the film is completely dead before the cameras started rolling. Deadline reports the film was still in pre-production, but the crew has been told to go home. So what is going on?
Well, apparently the film's financiers Emmett/Furla Films, Envision Entertainment, and Mark Damon’s Foresight Entertainment realized that the 2013 release date Warner Bros had already set wasn't going to work out. The schedule was only going to allow for 12 weeks of post-production, and that simply wasn't enough time to get the film done. As Deadline explains the business side of things, "They needed that studio release to justify all of the foreign distribution deals made for the film by Damon. As a result, they could not secure a bond and couldn’t move forward." Here's an official statement:
“Faced with the realities of a very short post-production schedule and complicated visual and special effects, the producers have decided to push back production on Albert Hughes’ Motor City. We are dedicated to delivering top-tier productions such as 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg which is currently in production and Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor which is in pre-production. The circumstances surrounding this project made it impossible to meet the firm March 31st delivery date without compromising the quality of the film.”
So now the film isn't moving forward. Producers stil want to make the film, but some work needs to be done in order to put it back together again. All the financiers still have to deal with the cast, crew and director following this unexpected hiccup, and there's no telling whether or not Warner Bros will still want to be involved once this debacle is sorted out. It's problems like this that have me frustrated with the studio system. Setting a release date often creates issues that force rushing of production, and put pressure on the cast, crew and filmmaker. Thankfully, the producers knew they wouldn't meet the release and halted production rather than rushing it. Hopefully we'll see this project revived sometime down the road.