James Mangold is stacking the odds in his favor. Next up he’s got The Wolverine, the defunct property of Darren Aronofsky, still starring Hugh Jackman and still written by Christopher McQuarrie (though there’s been a worrisome rewrite by Mark Bomback) and still set in Japan and still about revenge and all of that stuff (“suffering from amnesia and searching for answers about his past.”), despite natural disasters and what not.
Following that blockbuster, Mangold will tackle City State, a remake of the 2011 Icelandic thriller of the same name, directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson. Danny Sherman and Josh Kesslman of Principal Entertainment are producing, along with Mangold and his Tree Line Films comrade Cathy Konrad [Deadline].
The original takes place in the Icelandic underworld, utilizing the now somewhat infamous intersecting-storylines tripe to tell the tale of four individuals (a crooked cop, a female cop out for vengeance, a dying mob boss and a vengeful mechanic) whose wants collide when a foreign crime syndicate attempts to take control of the Icelandic drug scene.
It all sounds a bit too close to Brooklyn’s Finest Training Days in Cop Land (the latter which Mangold directed) based on the synopsis (plus even more vengeance!), but that’s what studio directors are allegedly hired to do: take something cliche and put on a magic act to convince people it’s not tired. Mangold did something of the sort with his recent Knight and Day, a retro spy caper masquerading as a Tom Cruise vehicle. Unfortunately, the public (at least the American public) tended to disagree.
Below is the short, powerful teaser for the Icelandic original. Be sure to spot a bearded Jonathan Pryce about halfway through:
What do you think of this property for Mangold?
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