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There's been a lot of buzz about sci-fi features lately. With Men in Black III hitting, Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim on the horizon, and J.J. Abrams selling a mysterious new spec script to Paramount, Warner Brothers is looking to develop an original sci-fi property of their own called The Wind, and like Bad Robot, are being pretty tight-lipped on its specifics. Nonetheless, THR has discovered The Wind was penned by sought-after action writer David Koepp, who has contributed to such thrilling features as Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, and Jurassic Park, and that the story will be set on a space colony. However, the revelation of this locale just makes its title all the more mysterious.
While Koepp's attachment as writer and producer is encouraging, what's most intriguing about The Wind is that Warner Bros has broken their unofficial policy of hiring only established filmmakers to bring in commercial director Nic Mathieu to helm. This movie would mark Mathieu's feature directorial debut, but apparently his commercial reel and project pitch has impressed WB execs enough to give him a shot. Taking a look at some of his spots, it's easy to see why.
Mathieu has a serious skill with integrating computer-generated effects, and as a commercial director is certainly accustomed to handling a major budget. (Fun fact: broken down by cost per second of screen time, commercials are more costly than films and television shows.) Beyond that, Mathieu's spots show a strong voice, deftly creating a mood in moments; however, there's a noticeable absence in his reel of dialogue and storytelling. Basically, he's got the spectacle aspect of sci-fi down; what remains to be seen is if he can build a narrative.
Take a look at Mathieu's space-set spot for Zenith below: