Since there’s been more talk lately of Richard Armitage’s future projects, I’m going to hit the question and yes, the fear about his next film, right up front. Will special effects be the star of Black Sky? We’ve all heard how Steve Quale, the director has been a protege’ of James Cameron. And many of us know while Cameron’s movies can be long on thrill ride, they can also be short on story. Will Quale be the same? And where does that leave Armitage who can certainly do action but puts a premium on story and character? How does Gary Morris (Armitage’s character) navigate a disaster?
That’s the question Todd Garner wants answered, “What does a normal person do in that situation?!” And “situation” in this instance cannot just be an allusion. It must seem real, which is where Quale comes in and necessitated by the video game era with the target audience being the video game age — 30s and below. A problem you say? Oh, I don’t know. I just saw a wonderful movie, which recently hit the half billion mark on revenue at less than two weeks after release, and it was primarily aimed at the video game age. Had a lot of special effects too.
But that was Tolkien, so the material was already great, and this can’t be as good? Black Sky may have something more appealing than The Hobbit. Yes, I really said that, and I’m a Tolkien fan! But I do not make a steady diet of fantasy. Most of the time I prefer movies that focus more on the human condition and with quirks. Enter Simon Beaufoy who is one of the writers of the Black Sky screenplay. His CV includes Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and The Full Monty. He’s got human condition and quirkiness down. The other writer is newcomer John Swetnam. I don’t know much about him although I was made aware of him a couple of years ago by Scott Myers at Go Into the Story. It seems Swetnam could be part of the impetus for the found footage story of Black Sky,and that’s an aspect that has fantastic possibilities for the character finding the footage. I’ve also looked at Swetnam’s Twitter timeline, and if it’s any indication, he’s quirky and witty. He seems a good match for Beaufoy. I can’t wait to see the mashup of these two and Quale.
And aren’t mash-ups the thing now? Some are so unlikely. Those are the ones I love. The unexpected that makes me consider from a new viewpoint, that takes my thinking out of a box. When I consider Black Sky‘s unlikely mashup of talent, the special effects are less threatening in upstaging Richard’s portrayal and are the obvious place for his creativity in crafting characters. I imagine him coming with a fascinating answer to Garner’s question about Gary Morris.