With the release of “This Means War” coming this weekend, director McG is prepared to try something just a bit different. He’s been attached to “Puzzle Palace” since late last year, an action script penned by “Safe House” writer David Guggenheim. Development stalled while Summit merged with Lionsgate, but with everything starting to clear up, he’s ready to make this thriller his very next film.
“That’s likely my next picture,” he said, referring to the thriller, which features a lawyer trapped in One Police Plaza with crooked cops on his tail. “I just spoke with Guggenheim three days ago, he’s doing another pass on the script, and Lionsgate and Summit are sorting everything out.” McG claims it’s tonally similar to “Die Hard,” as the film follows “A kid who has to clear his father’s name by breaking into One Police Plaza in New York, which is the most secure building imaginable in a post-9/11 world. It’s a smaller picture, it’s designed for a [Ryan] Gosling [type actor]. It’s not as small and antithetical as ‘Drive,’ but it’s not a big giant over-the-top action picture, it’s meant to be a fun, intelligent action character study.”
He’s also currently working with screenwriter Dave Callaham (“The Expendables“) on an untitled sci-fi movie, one that he’s staying tight-lipped about. “We just turned that script in,” he says. Claiming it’s his answer to “The Last Starfighter,” he says, “It’s in the spirit of a world where there’s unmanned aircrafts flying through Afghanistan. It’s almost as though kids who are wildly adapted to playing video games are better candidates to be pilots than the traditional Maverick archetype.” Guess this could be either a family friendly adventure fantasy, or perhaps something a bit more contemporary and hard-edged. Hopefully not like “Stealth.”
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However, don’t look for McG’s “Ouija.” The board game adaptation was one of many Hasbro properties at Universal, though it appears to have fallen victim to the movie studio’s mass purging of all toy-related properties. When asked about whether it can be resurrected, McG replies, “Likely not. That was a big ‘Indiana Jones‘ look into the supernatural. Like, what if there was an ancient Ouija board where the reason we have a toy today is because it was based on a board that granted access to other side. But it was an expensive picture, and we never quite locked in the creative [element] with Universal. It just didn’t move forward.”
“This Means War” is now playing in theaters.