Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich used to be an effective team, bringing movies like Stargate and Independence Day into theaters as screenwriters and producers. Alas, Devlin and Emmerich haven’t produced a film together since 2000’s The Patriot, and Devlin hasn’t written anything (apart from an episode of Leverage) since 1998’s "mutter the title under your breath, lest you be publicly scorned" blockbuster Godzilla. It looks like that drought is about to end pretty soon, as Heat Vision has reported that Mr. Devlin is not only writing but also directing what looks like a massive throwback to those Independence Days and Stargate nights. And he’s got Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen) helping out in the lead!
Geostorm tells the story of Mr. Butler’s character, who’s described as:
"…a stubborn but charming satellite designer who, when the world’s climate-controlling satellites malfunction, has to work together with his estranged brother to save the world from a man-made storm of epic proportions. A trip into space follows, while on Earth a plot to assassinate the president begins to unfold."
That synopsis is a veritable dump truck of disaster movie clichés, sounding more like three different movies than one cohesive storyline. Yet if anyone were able to make it work on paper and on the screen, it’d be Devlin and Butler respectively. In fact, having Gerard Butler cast in the lead is probably the factor that’ll sell the rest of the potential cast into starring in Geostorm. He’s taken what could have been lesser movies and made them work better than they ever could have in the past. Case in point, Olympus Has Fallen would have fallen flat on its face as another Die Hard clone if it weren’t for Butler’s ass-kicking abilities. (Which, oddly enough, is exactly what happened with Roland Emmerich’s White House Down. To be fair though, that was more of a catastrophe on the script level than anything else.)
Still, there’s one problem that might make Geostorm a hard sell to the audience. Out of all the movies this mimics, there’s one that people weren’t so sweet on. It was another movie featuring a Scottish lead in control of a weather satellite, and a world at the mercy of man-made weather. What was the name of that one again? Oh yeah…
To some The Avengers stands as proof that Hollywood can still make a lousy movie with the best cast imaginable. To others, it’s a good case for intentionally campy movies being played as such by a talented group that knows how to blur the lines between serious and "Seriously?" Geostorm has a tight rope to cross between both of those quadrants, but thankfully it’s being crossed by people with some experience in such matters. Geostorm is in Warner Brothers' care, with a release date or production schedule unknown at this time.