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With the highly anticipated Marvel sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier not coming out for another eight months or so, one had to wonder if brotherly co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo were going to stay committed to adapting their upcoming Oni Press graphic novel Ciudad, which was announced well over a year ago. As it turns out, they are and they aren’t, as The Hollywood Reporter reports Sierra Pictures will be financing and producing the film with Closed on Mondays Entertainment. But the brothers Russo will no longer be helming the project as was once planned, and filming duties have gone to John Pogue, whose only directing credit so far has been the straight-to-nowhere sequel Quarantine 2: Terminal, though he has another one in the works. This seems like a pretty strange decision to me.
Ciudad was written by Joe and Anthony along with Ande Parks and Fernando Leon, and I’m not quite sure when Oni Press is releasing it. It will follow a "weary mercenary who is hired by a Brazilian drug lord to extract his daughter from Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, one of the world’s most corrupt cities." It’s the kind of action project that is as headscratching as the brothers heading Winter Soldier initially was, given their past work in comedies such as Arrested Development, You, Me and Dupree, and NBC’s Community. Joe will be penning the screenplay for Ciudad, so at least they’re not entirely separated from the film version.
Back when Ciudad was first reported with the Russo brothers attached to direct, Dwayne Johnson was set to star, and there was a lot of steam behind it. The THR story made no reference to Johnson, which leads me to believe his involvement may no longer be so set in stone. If that’s true, then it makes the director shift sound a little more reasonable. Still, though, if it’s strong enough to even get Johnson’s attention, I wouldn’t be surprised if other high caliber action stars want to get their hands on it.
Pogue’s next effort is the Hammer Films paranormal thriller The Quiet Ones, which doesn’t yet have a U.S. release date. I’m interested in it, as it’s about a physics professor pulling together a team to try and create a poltergeist, and I love me some ridiculous horror. Hopefully it’s at least good enough to make sense that Sierra hired him to direct an action flick. Pogue is the screenwriter behind such forgettable films as The Skulls, Rollerball and Ghost Ship. I’m just throwing that out there.
Production on Ciudad is set to begin in Colombia next spring. I wonder if it’s going to be somewhere around the time when Winter Soldier gets released on April 4, 2014. I also wonder if Oni is waiting on that film to come out and ride the Russo train to bigger sales. We’ll see. Who would you guys like to see in this if the Rock doesn’t make it?