Is Robert Zemeckis ready to tap his human side again? The filmmaker seems to have been distracted and sidetracked by filmmaking toys in his last few years. There was the run of early pioneering motion capture work (“The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Beowulf“), but even with his “return” to live-action filmmaking, “Flight” with Denzel Washington, the most convincing sequence in the entire movie was the dynamic and horrifying plane crash. Even “The Walk,” which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as young quixotic dreamer with an ambition to wire walk between the World Trade Center towers looks like an excuse to induce vertigo with 3D technology.
So, what will Zemeckis hide behind in an upcoming untitled World War II thriller with romantic dimensions? Considering his cast, we hope nothing. Zemeckis’ latest already stars Brad Pitt, and Marion Cotillard has just joined the cast as his love interest.
Penned by Steve Knight (“Peaky Blinders,” “Locke“), Zemeckis’ film center on two assassins (Pitt, Cotillard), who fall in love during a mission in Casablanca to kill a German ambassador. The duo marry, but domestic bliss is cut short when Pitt’s character, a French-Canadian, is informed his wife is a double agent working for the German government and he must kill her according to THR. “Mr. And Mrs. Smith” set in WWII with Pitt sporting a funk French Canadian accent? Yeah, we’re there. But again, hopefully Zemeckis is thinking about human dynamics and not what whiz, pow, bang toys he can add to the story.
The picture will shoot in the new year, but despite the cast, we’d hold off before making any Oscar predictions (see “Flight” which was totally shut out of the picture that year).