A couple months back, Paul Scheer and the gang covered The Covenant on How Did This Get Made? Ever since then, Paul and I have been trying to arrange an interview with the film’s director, the great Renny Harlin, a Finnish-born filmmaker best known for helming action-packed classics like Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger.
It took a little while to coordinate the conversation, as Harlin has been stationed in China these past two years. But luckily for us, between finishing post on his upcoming Jackie Chan film Skiptrace and launching his new production company in Beijing, Harlin carved out an hour to take a stroll down memory lane.
During our chat, we talked about all sorts of things. From his mission to assemble the “sexiest cast ever” for The Covenant to his original choice to play the villain in Cliffhanger. But as interesting as details like that can be—and as wonderfully quotable as Harlin tends to be—they pale in comparison to the unexpected and over-arching story of Harlin’s career. A career that, as you will now see, never even should have been…
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Jackie Chan isn’t yet ready to become Expendable, because he’s busy making his own big action films. One project he’s been developing is called Skiptrace, and features Jackie and Seann William Scott in a globe-trotting action buddy comedy. Now Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, The Long Kiss Goodnight) will direct the film, with a shoot planned for later this summer. Fan Bingbing (Iron Man 3, X-Men: Days of Future Past) will also appear.
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Posted on Friday, December 13th, 2013 by Angie Han
It remains to be seen which of the two Hercules movies due out next year will emerge victorious from the blood-stained arena that is the global box office. But in the race to put out a whole bunch of trailers, The Legend of Hercules is beating Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules by a very comfortable margin.
Summit has just released the third trailer for the sword-and-sandal epic, which was directed by Renny Harlin and stars Kellan Lutz as the half-god hero. The results are, well, about what you’d expect. Watch it after the jump.
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What was once Hercules: The Legend Begins is now The Legend of Hercules. The film directed by Renny Harlin and starring Kellan Lutz hasn’t changed otherwise, but below we’ve got a new trailer and poster to reflect the name change. Read More »
Here’s a new tease for the Great Hercules Smackdown of 2014. Two films featuring the mythological character will hit theaters next year, and the first will be Hercules: The Legend Begins, from Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) and starring Kellan Lutz (Twilight) in the lead role.
This isn’t the story of arrogant Hercules having to clean stables to appease daddy Zeus; it’s about a badass warrior who also happens to be a lovesick puppy. It seems like 300 meets Gladiator, and then Hercules is reminded that his father was a god, and the powers start to manifest. Check out a trailer below. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2013 by Angie Han
While Brett Ratner’s Hercules for MGM/Paramount has been busy nailing down supporting actors over the past couple of months, Millennium’s competing Hercules 3D is just getting started on casting. And first up is the legendary warrior himself. Twilight actor Kellan Lutz has just signed on to take the lead in the film, which is being directed by Renny Harlin. Hit the jump for more info.
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Posted on Monday, February 4th, 2013 by Angie Han
Weeks after MGM and Paramount announced a summer 2014 release for their Hercules project with director Brett Ratner and star Dwayne Johnson, Millennium has set a spring 2014 date for its own take on the hero. This one comes from Die Hard 2 helmer Renny Harlin and will be in 3D, as evidenced by its title Hercules 3D. No stars are attached as of yet, but look for that to change soon as the project barrels toward a May start. More details after the jump.
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Hollywood loves stories of failure almost more than it loves success. The tales of flops such as Heaven’s Gate, Ishtar and The Bonfire of the Vanities have spawned endless conversations, magazine articles and no few books. But the story of a flop is often distilled down into over-simplified factoids and circumstances. In the broad public view, all most people tend to know is that a movie was over-ambitious or poorly conceived, and that it tanked, possibly taking companies and careers with it.
One of the legendary flops is Renny Harlin‘s Cutthroat Island, a 1995 pirate film that starred his then-wife Geena Davis and actor Matthew Modine. The film cost almost a hundred million to make, and raked in only about one-tenth that amount. Stories have flown that the movie’s failure was responsible for the demise of production company Carolco. That company previously made Basic Instinct, Cliffhanger, Terminator 2, and other successful films, as well as another oft-discussed dog, Showgirls, released only months before Cutthroat Island.
In a new interview to promote his current film 5 Days of War, Harlin talks candidly about the experience of making Cutthroat Island, and the fact of it being a financial disaster. His statements are frank. While he indicts Carolco for making the film when he says the company was insolvent, he also accepts a certain arrogance of his own, inflated by the success of Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger, as being part of the problem. But, he says, if he’d been allowed to walk away, the movie never would have happened at all. Read More »
“The first casualty of war is innocence. Oops, the truth. I meant the first casualty of war is always the truth.”
Here’s the first trailer for Renny Harlin‘s 5 Days of War, which covers people trying to cover the war that broke out between Russia and Georgia in 2008. Serious topics aren’t exactly in the director’s wheelhouse; he’s best known for sequels (Die Hard 2, Nightmare on Elm St. 4) and the occasionally effective action movie (The Long Kiss Goodnight, Cliffhanger).
So I’ve been interested to see what comes of this slightly more serious project since it was announced in 2009. Harlin’s facility with action is certainly on display in this trailer, and I can’t really tell whether or not to have any expectations beyond that. Check it out below and make your own call. Read More »