There’s no doubt that we’ve been pretty hard on Joe Carnahan. The helmer burst onto the scene with the gritty cop drama “Narc” but squandered that goodwill with the outlandish “Smokin’ Aces” and the bloated “The A-Team.” However, Carnahan’s next effort “The Grey” definitely looks like a step back in the right direction and if you might have some doubts, Carnahan is ready to prove you wrong.
The director hit Twitter over the weekend to declare, “Almost locked THE GREY. It’s a monster. Haters prepare. Your hopes will be dashed.” So why is he excited for this one? The outdoor thriller focuses on a group of pipeline workers in Alaska who are flying back to civilization after being remote for a number of months. The 737 they’re on goes down, and they begin to be hunted by a pack of rogue wolves. It’s certainly a genre of film that doesn’t get made very often and Carnahan lined up a great cast to tell the tale with Liam Neeson, “Rubicon” stars Dallas Roberts and James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie and Joe Anderson all on board. And helping to capture the bleak conditions of his characters, Carnahan headed to British Columbia at the end of last year to shoot the film right in the thick of a Canadian winter.
Comparisons to “Deliverance” and “Touching the Void” have already been made, so we’re definitely intrigued to see what he’s pulled together. Generally, when a film is “locked” it means the final edit has been reached but that stuff like sound design, music composition and color correction still needs to take place. So depending on how quickly Carnahan can get the rest of the elements in place, we’d wager there is a possibility he could have it ready in in time for TIFF. The film is currently without a distributor and if it’s as good as Carnahan believes it is, he’ll want to be in Toronto to wheel and deal and get the buzz started.