Simon West to direct the 14th century set action-fantasy WAR WOLF

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Simon West may not be the most prolific director, but when he’s stepped behind the camera he’s delivered some solidly entertaining movies with titles like Con Air, The General’s Daughter, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and, more recently, The Mechanic and The Expendables 2 under his belt; and I’m quite intrigued by his next project – the action-fantasy War Wolf.

The official story line is as follows:

It is September 1356, and the kingdoms of England and France have been at war for 20 unrelenting years. The land is despoiled and both armies exhausted. At the pivotal Battle of Poitiers, a small group of English knights serving under the Earl of Northampton are our focus: the earl’s son Guy Fairfax, his soon-to-be arch rival Knight-Commander Hawkyard, and others including Patsy Alan, a young and inexperienced squire, who will become this tale’s unlikely hero.

The battle rages and the French King is defeated, but Earl Hugo is badly wounded by a French assassin, Mauchet. in recompense for his injuries, Earl Hugo is awarded Castle Machoul, where Mauchet’s daughter Yvette still resides. Yet, when the English arrive at the castle, they find that Yvette is not as helpless as she seems.

In the dark walls of castle Machoul and the lands that surround it, someone has reawakened the Loup de Guerre by donning its skin. The ferocious War Wolf of French legend, the stuff of nightmares, is now on a …

ON A WHAT? Damn it!

As per Variety, authors Andy Briggs and Paul Finch have written the script for the movie, while Ileen Maisel (The Golden Compass), Lawrence Elman (Romeo & Juliet) and Jib Polhemus (The Mechanic) are set to produce. Also on board for special effects, makeup and costumes are Dave Elsey and Lou Elsey who’ve previously worked on titles such as Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Ghost Rider and X-Men: First Class – the former shared the Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup with Rick Baker for 2010’s Wolfman.

Fortitude International will be handling international distribution, and its co-founder Nadine de Barros had this to say at the announcement:

The popularity of the fantasy genre around the globe continues to grow and the fierce world of ‘War Wolf’ is an electric story. Under the masterful direction of Simon West and the brilliant team of Dave and Lou Elsey behind the special effects makeup, this film is going to blow people away with both the look of this fantastical world and the intense storytelling.

They’re also hoping this movie will launch a new franchise set in the universe they’ve created… and that’s the second time my Spidey-movie-sense has tingled. The first time was with a pair of authors who don’t have much in the way of successful movies to their screenwriting credit, but this is the one that really bugs me – as far as I’m concerned new franchises have to be earned by a successful first movie that tells a complete story – only once you’ve got that can you start telling people about your franchise.

We’ve seen what happened with Universal when they tried to launch their monster-based cinematic universe with Dracula Untold – the movie was not particularly well-received (even though I quite enjoyed it) and suddenly it wasn’t the start of their shared universe (even though it was) and now the upcoming The Mummy reboot is the real start of it (no it’s not).

But despite some misgivings I’m still keen to see what comes of this – what do you think?

(Header image source)

Last Updated: May 11, 2016

Trevor Davies

I like pie, I think.

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