If Hollywood is to be believed, the internet is pretty much a deathtrap. Whether it’s Jeremy Northam destroying Sandra Bullock‘s life online in “The Net,” Tim Robbins‘ murderous software billionaire in “Antitrust,” sentient computers like Skynet or Shia La Boeuf‘s adversary in “Eagle Eye,” there’s no overblown, ludicrous web-based plot that hasn’t yet been mined. And to be fair, they’re pretty much on the money; the internet is stuffed with psychos, and when we’re not cyberstalking our commenters, we’re arranging Satanic rituals on LinkedIn.
Filming’s now underway on another net-based thriller backed by one of Hollywood’s biggest names, “X-Men” helmer Bryan Singer, who’s producing “uwantme2killhim?,” and it does at least have the advantage of being based in fact, being an adaptation of a 2005 Vanity Fair article by Judy Bachrach (read it here). The story will center on 16-year-old Mark who meets local girl Rachel on the internet, and begins an intense online relationship. He quickly finds that he’s besotted, that he’ll do anything for her, even befriend her awkward, loner brother, John. When Rachel, who is trapped within the grips of a possessive boyfriend, is murdered, Mark and John make plans to avenge her death. Their actions draw the attention of a secret government department as they unwittingly stumble upon an ongoing operation. Soon Mark is recruited to commit a crime that made British legal history.
Singer originally intended to direct himself, but as he’s still deep in post on “Jack the Giant Killer,” the helm is instead being taken by Andrew Douglas, who was behind the Ryan Reynolds-starring remake of “The Amityville Horror.” The film’s been crawling towards production for a while now, and during Cannes, it was announced that it would topline rising young stars Jack O’Connell (“Harry Brown“), Olly Alexander (“Enter The Void“) and Ruth Wilson (“Luther“), but there’s been a near total shake-up, with somewhat lesser-known names Jamie Blackley (the upcoming “Snow White & The Huntsman“), Toby Regbo (who played the younger Dumbledore in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1“) and Joanne Frogatt (“Downton Abbey“) in the three leads.
The trio are also joined by Liz White (“Life on Mars“), Mark Womack (“Route Irish“) and Jaime Winstone (“Donkey Punch“), the latter being the sole cast member to survive from the previous incarnation. Filming is now underway in the U.K., and the film will be released in the country by Momentum in 2012. No firm news yet on a U.S. release, although with The Weinstein Company holding a number of worldwide territories, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them put the film at some point. Fingers crossed it’s better than “Chatroom.” [Screen Daily]