Bouncing back after his less-than-stellar Bond entry Quantum of Solace, director Marc Forster is mixing some action in as he heads back into his dramatic roots in Machine Gun Preacher. Relativity took over distribution from Lionsgate for the film and it is set to debut at the Toronto Film Festival next month. Gerard Butler is in the lead and there has even been some Oscar rumors for his performance as he stars alongside Michelle Monaghan, Souleymane Sy Savane, Kathy Baker and Michael Shannon, in the “fact-based” film that follows Sam Childers.
In the first trailer we can see Butler’s sprawling character arc, going from criminal to establishing an orphanage. It indeed seems like a performance the Academy will eat up so I hope some of the false notes in the trailer ring true when it comes to the full thing. I’m also glad to see Forster return to a somewhat smaller story, before he goes big again with World War Z next year. Check out the first trailer below via Apple and return for our review straight from TIFF.
Machine Gun Preacher is the inspirational true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. Gerard Butler (300) delivers a searing performance as Childers, the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in Golden Globe-nominated director Marc Forster’s (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) moving story of violence and redemption. When ex-biker-gang member Sam Childers (Butler) makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war, he is outraged by the unspeakable horrors faced by the region’s vulnerable populace, especially the children. Ignoring the warnings of more experienced aide workers, Sam breaks ground for an orphanage where it’s most needed–in the middle of territory controlled by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens. But for Sam, it is not enough to shelter the LRA’s intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible, he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory to retrieve kidnapped children, restoring peace to their lives–and eventually his own. The explosive, real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation, disease and enslavement, Machine Gun Preacher also stars Michelle Monaghan (Due Date), Kathy Baker (Cold Mountain), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), Academy Award(R) nominated Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and Souleymane Sy Savane (“Damages”).
Machine Gun Preacher hits theaters September 23rd, 2011.
What do you think of the first trailer? Do you think Butler has an award chances?
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, Danny King, Amanda Waltz, and I discuss Don Hertzfeldt’s new short film World of Tomorrow, which will be released on March 31st on VOD (or stream below). Then we dive into a feature review of David Robert Mitchell‘s horror film It Follows, which […]
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