I’m glad that Bryan Singer’s new film, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures re-imagining of the “Jack and the Bean Stalk” tale, is finally coming together. Since breaking out with The Usual Suspects in the mid 90s, Singer has established himself as a versatile visionary who has a knowledgeable understanding of what makes cinema such a powerful medium. He now turns his energies to unexplored territory – the fantasy genre – with Jack and the Giant Killer, but although the film has now been officially greenlit by the studio, little else is known about the project.
It’s common knowledge that Christopher McQuarrie has re-written Mark Bomback and Darren Lemke’s original script and Deadline is now reporting that Kick Ass star Aaron Johnson may be taking the title role. The development is hardly a surprise for those who have been following Singer’s activity: Johnson was rumored to be playing young Cyclops in the filmmaker’s X-Men: First Class (on which he is a producer) and he supposedly held casting sessions for both projects at the same time (which could have been the cause of the plethora of false information that surrounded that film’s casting process). Now, with First Class well underway and no news about Johnson being involved, the probability of him working with Singer on Giant Killer is looking good.
In my opinion, the actors won’t make or break this film: it’s all about Singer’s direction. He’s proven himself capable of handling both massive action sequences of quieter character driven moments, so I don’t think that there’s anything to worry about. Johnson seems like a fine young performer; I have no doubt that his career is on the fast track to success. But the major story that will surround Jack and the Giant Killer will be Singer’s return to the big screen after a pretty lengthy absence – by the time the film is released, presumably sometime in 2012, it will have been more than three years since his last film (2008’s Valkyrie); the longest we’ve ever had to wait for a new movie from the talented auteur. That means that expectations will be high, but I doubt that he’ll disappoint.