As far as directorial debuts go, one couldn’t have a much bigger start than Disney‘s “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. But helmer Robert Stromberg isn’t a complete neophyte to special effects or film sets. The three-time Oscar nominee, won twice, back-to-back, for Art Direction on “Avatar” and “Alice In Wonderland,” and his CV boasts movies as wide ranging as “The Hunger Games,” “There Will Be Blood” and “The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift.” Despite the fact that taking the reins of a major tentpole is a big deal, Stromberg is confidently striding ahead, and he’s got another big project on the horizon.
In the midst of their report about the newly formed company Hydra, of which Stromberg is a part founder, Variety reveals that one of the movies the upstart is developing is “Safari,” a project that he’ll direct, that is described as being in the vein of “Jurassic Park” and “Avatar.” We did some digging and if the movie is the same as the one listed on IOTG, it’s easy to see why that comparison is being made. Penned by Jeff Lowell (“John Tucker Must Die“) and Ed Solomon (“Men In Black“), and based off an idea by Matt Lopez (“Bedtime Stories“), the logline says it all: “Action-comedy about a family that goes on a chic Safari that’s ‘too Disneyland’ so they trek out for an authentic experience. They live a crazy adventure out in the jungle and have to use their wits to get them out.” Sounds about right.
It’s easy to see why that one is being dreamed up as a big blockbuster, but it will need a few steps to get there first. Hydra’s goal is to allow filmmakers to do pre-viz work on projects, in the hopes that they can pitch them to studios or backers to get thee projects made, and we presume that will be the case with “Safari.” Also, Stromberg will need to prove himself first with “Maleficent” before any of that can happen. But with that movie still not due until March 14, 2014, he still has a long time to make sure every detail is right. But is Stromberg our next blockbuster director? Time will tell.