According to Deadline, “Motor City,” the revenge thriller from solo Hughes brother Albert Hughes that was originally set to star Dominic Cooper… Then Jake Gyllenhaal… Then Gerard Butler… Has been shut down for good, with the cast being sent home over the weekend. We’re pretty sure that this movie accidentally ran over a young gypsy while on vacation in Europe because this shit seems cursed.
Most of the difficulties surrounding “Motor City” had to do with casting, with a whole host of Hollywood’s hottest both coming and (mostly) going from the project, including but not limited to Gary Oldman (who was ultimately replaced in what can only be defined as a “downgrade” by Adrien Brody), Amber Heard, Clive Owen, and Jeremy Renner. We were pretty sure that Mickey Rourke had left the project with half of Hollywood but Deadline reports that, at its time of death, Rourke was still a part of the film.
While it’s a little hard to untangle, the issue was that “Motor City” shut down after (again, according to Deadline), “the film’s backers, Emmett/Furla Films, Envision Entertainment, and Mark Damon‘s Foresight Entertainment, realized at the last moment that the release date given them by Warner Bros through its deal with Joel Silver‘s Dark Castle turned out to be a drop dead date. Production was to start on September 17th, meaning the film could only have 12 weeks of post-production. They needed that studio release to justify all of the foreign distribution deals made for the film by Damon. As a result, they could not secure a bond and couldn’t move forward.”
Supposedly everyone still wants to make “Motor City,” but the fact that the cast and crew was sent home means that pulling it back together again to prove to be a Herculean task. (The reason Gyllenhaal left the project left the project was because he wanted the production to start later, but the producers were steadfastly wed to the September 17th date.) And Warner Bros, who notoriously parted ways with Dark Castle very recently, might not be involved with the production when it comes back together.
The producers/financiers gave Deadline a statement, which read: “Faced with the realities of a very short post-production schedule and complicated visual and special effects, the producers have decided to push back production on Albert Hughes’ ‘Motor City.’ We are dedicated to delivering top-tier productions such as ‘2 Guns‘ starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg which is currently in production and Peter Berg’s ‘Lone Survivor‘ which is in pre-production. The circumstances surrounding this project made it impossible to meet the firm March 31st delivery date without compromising the quality of the film.”
Based on a Black Listed script by Chad St. John, the film concerned a small time crook (eventually played by Butler) who gets put away and when he gets out goes after the villains that set him up (they’ve also gotten a hold of his girlfriend… or something). It sounds like, if Hughes brought the right amount of stylistic heft, could be a pretty fun little B-movie. Whether or not we’ll actually ever get to see that movie, remains to be seen.