Think what might have been: Nicolas Winding Refn directing Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum in the Paul Schrader-written thriller “Dying Of The Light.” Yep, that’s what was supposed to happen in the original iteration of the film, but Ford, as he is wont to do, got nervous, bailed on the project, and it fell apart. Years later Winding Refn backed Schrader as director of the story of a middle-aged CIA agent battling dementia as he tracks an elusive, Bin Laden-like terrorist leader. This time it’s Nicolas Cage in the lead, and his young protégé is played by Anton Yelchin. Still could be good, right? Yes and no.
For one, Schrader’s off the film and washed his hands clean of it. Last month he revealed how producers squeezed him in the editing room because he didn’t like their cut and was forced off the film. The producers tell another story and say the filmmaker quit. Presumably the matter will go to court and the film will be tied up in legal wrangling for years, right? Nope, it’s comes out this year. Here’s the official synopsis:
Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage ignites a powder keg of action in this electrifying cloak-and-dagger thriller. Evan Lake (Cage), a veteran CIA agent, has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé (Anton Yelchin) uncovers evidence that Lake’s nemesis, the terrorist Banir (Alexander Karim), has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy.
A new poster that looks like another Lionsgate cheapie doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in the project either. Schrader’s film—if he indeed does leave his name on it— also stars French icon Irène Jacob (Kieslowski’s “Red”), Alexander Karim, Adetomiwa Edun, Aymen Hamdouchi, Claudius Peters, and Robert G. Slade
“Dying of the Light” opens December 5 in limited release. Watch the trailer below and let us know what you think.