War Pigs

A new World War II revenge thriller is in the works, and as is seemingly the new normal these days, any time a new war project is announced, Mel Gibson‘s name bounces around the fringes. The actor/director, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for Hacksaw Ridge and is now lining up a new war movie called Destroyer, is joining actor Colin Farrell in the upcoming film War Pigs, which hails from Tommy Wirkola, the director of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It looks like Gibson’s Hollywood comeback is still in full swing.

Since Wirkola, who also directed the Nazi zombie film Dead Snow and its sequel, is in the director’s chair for this movie, it’d be perfectly reasonable for you to read our headline and assume that Farrell and Gibson might literally be playing actual pigs who go to war. Sadly, it seems that’s not the case here.

Instead, The Hollywood Reporter says that the pair will star in Millennium Films’ 1940s-set action film “that follows ex-soldiers out for revenge against a gang that killed one of their own and stole their drug money.” Farrell will play Drex and Gibson will play a character referred to as The Pastor. Nick Ball (Cat Ball) and John Niven (Kill Your Friends) wrote the screenplay.

This all sounds embarrassingly derivative, but I don’t want to judge a project too harshly based on a logline alone. I will, however, judge it harshly based on the rest of the context here, which is that this project is being made for Millennium Films, a studio that I could have sworn went bankrupt a couple of years ago. Even if they somehow managed to stay alive, their track record is spotty at best; their filmography is littered with forgettable action movies with one-word titles like Stolen, Survivor, and Blitz.

I’ll do you all a favor and not repeat my feelings about Mel Gibson continuing to find work in the industry (read them here if you care). So let’s move on to the Wirkola of it all, a director who came up directing schlocky B-movies. This film sounds too straightforward and boring for him, so maybe there’s something significant being held back from the logline. I have nothing against B-movies – I enjoy kicking back with a movie like Boa vs. Python or Hard Ticket to Hawaii or nonsense like that as much as the next person – but Farrell’s involvement makes it seem like this film is aspiring to greater heights than simple trash entertainment. I suppose we’ll find out how it turns out one day, though I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

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