Simon West Directing ‘Medallion’ For Producer McG

Despite harboring ambitions to make a biopic about Salvador Dali, director Simon West is sticking with action for now. He’s got Jason Statham film The Mechanic, a remake of a Charles Bronson film, ready to release. He’ll next direct Dwayne Johnson in Protection. And now he’s being linked to The Medallion, a thriller produced by McG and written by Safe House writer David Guggenheim. Read More »

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Simon West to Direct Protection with Dwayne Johnson

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The action thriller Protection was once to have starred Paul Walker, then Clive Owen before he bowed out and Dwayne Johnson stepped in. Now, after the actor’s shuffle, it has a new director. But the new director is actually the old director: Simon West, who was on the project when Walker was the star, then exited, has returned to direct the film. Read More »

The Mechanic Sales Trailer

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Jason Statham is starring in director Simon West‘s remake of the Charles Bronson thriller The Mechanic. He’s got Ben Foster along for the ride, presumably taking over the role played by Jan-Michael Vincent in the original, and Donald Sutherland as well. Now there’s a sales trailer to show off what West is doing with the story of a killer (Statham) who takes on an apprentice (Foster). Check it out after the break. (Note that due to some brief skin, it is probably NSFW) Read More »

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Now this was a remake I didn’t see coming. THR’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that George Romero’s zombie classic, Night of the Living Dead, is going to be remade into a 3D CGI film by first-time director Zebediah de Soto.  The project, titled Night of the Living Dead: Origins, will have no involvement from Romero (though that may not be a bad thing these days). De Soto mentioned that he wants to focus on the character’s backstories, and aim for it to look like an “American-styled anime”. Origins is being produced by Simon West (Con Air, Tomb Raider)—which probably isn’t the most heartening bit of news.

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Michael Winner’s The Mechanic has been spuriously described as an action classic by Production Weekly today. if you don’t know it, the film was one of a whole heap of Bronson movies in which his character’s main focus is on killing but while many of them featured the man as a supposedly heroic vigilante, this one casting him as a master hitman who dyes his hair.

The reason they mention it at all is that Simon West is apparently in talks to reinvent the film with Jason Statham in the starring role. Okay – I can see that shifting a few DVDs. Maybe it will even give him another action franchise. I think he can probably support a good half dozen running concurrently.

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Variety reported recently that Antonio Banderas is in final talks to play Salvador Dali in Dali, a Simon West-directed biopic with a script by Jeremy Walters. According to the Variety article, “the film will blend music with CGI sequences in an effort to capture the inventiveness and color of the painter” and will chronicle Dali’s rise and fall. In what has become increasingly characteristic of Hollywood’s desire to make similar-themed films at the same time, Dali joins several other recent Dali-related movies including Andrew Niccol’s Dali & I: The Surreal Story, and Paul Morrison’s Little Ashes.

While Banderas is always solid actor, I’m much less convinced that Simon West can deliver a nuanced and satisfying story, especially for a genre (i.e. biopics) that already have to go above and beyond what’s expected to avoid being generic. When West first burst onto the scene with Con Air, (which in my opinion was not even a great action film by any means) I thought he showed a lot of promise, but a quick look at his resume paints a pretty clear trajectory of his career. Can Dali bring him the critical acclaim that the film’s concept seems to be begging for?

Discuss: Would you see a Simon West “Dali” film? Does West still have it in him to make a good movie?

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