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McG lined up to shoot "young Die Hard" flick Puzzle Palace

02.20.2012

THIS MEANS WAR flounders at the box office, director will not be deterred and is planning to shoot PUZZLE PALACE, which "centers on the son of a veteran police officer who learns his father is framed for murder. When he finds out that there is evidence hidden that could free his father, he is determined to find it, even though it means breaking into One Police Plaza, the most secure building in all of New York City. He ends up being locked inside the police HQ with crooked cops on his tail."

The script is written by David Guggenheim, who consequently is having great success at the box office this week with his SAFE HOUSE taking the number one spot for the second straight week. Guggenheim has been gaining a lot of momentum as of late and this is just another race car on the track for him.  McG has been rather inconsistent and although he had the best of intentions for THIS MEANS WAR it simply isn't drawing in the crowds. 

I guess the date crowd prefers Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams over Tom Hardy/Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. 

McG describes PUZZLE PALACE as "tonally similar to 'DIE HARD'" and says "It's a smaller picture, it’s designed for a (Ryan) Gosling. 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.”

I think what bothers me about this news is the "kid" aspect and linking it to Ryan Gosling, who is 32 years old.  It's likely that the youth aspect of the lead character is getting mixed up in the reporting of this story, but if it is in fact a "teen" (there's one report calling the lead a lawyer) then I have to start making my "cringe" face and use more quotation marks around words.  This formula was tried recently and the results of that experiment was the Taylor Lautner comedy ABDUCTION, which is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. 

Wait...that wasn't supposed to be funny?

I like McG, contrary to the trend, and think with the right material he could really shine.  I prefer TERMINATOR: SALVATION over TERMINATOR 3 and enjoy the CHARLIE'S ANGELS movies as the cheesy style-over-substance mess that they are.  Hopefully, he finds his footing, but PUZZLE PALACE feels like a hard sell. 

Will Guggenheim's script change the game?  We'll find out as this develops.

Extra Tidbit: What project do you think would suit McG best? I think a "Speed" style action flick is tailor made for his style.
Source: The Playlist

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