I speak for many when expressing my gratitude toward Robert Zemeckis for ditching motion-capture animation on Flight, a Denzel Washington-led drama that’s been shooting for more than a month. However, if you were so inclined to be a complainer who needs to find a downside, it’s that he had to abandon the time travel movie Replay in favor of it. A bummer for two reasons: a) It sounds like a fun project that carries themes he built a career on, and b) he can make a time travel movie like no other.
But now there’s a real downside. As Vulture informs us, Warner Bros. “didn’t want to wait around” for Zemeckis, so Life as We Know It director and Green Lantern co-scribe (what a record) Greg Berlanti is in talks for the job. Writer Jason Smilovic is even rewriting his version of Ken Grimwood‘s novel, with the team supposedly hoping that shooting can kick off “as early as next May.”
For some further context, you can read a synopsis of the story below:
43-year-old radio journalist Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack in 1988 and awakens back in 1963 in his 18-year-old body as a student at Atlanta’s Emory University. He then begins to relive his life with intact memories of the next 25 years, until, despite his best efforts at cardiac health, he dies of a heart attack, again, in 1988. He immediately returns to 1963, but several hours later than the last “replay”. This happens repeatedly with different events in each cycle, each time beginning from increasingly later dates (first days, then weeks, then years, then ultimately decades). Jeff soon realizes that he cannot prevent his death in 1988, but he can change the events that occur before it, both for him, and for others.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, expectations might need to be lowered a notch or two with this eventual hiring. I’m fully aware that Berlanti isn’t being given a fair shake here, but both his less-than-great filmography and the whole “replacing the guy who made Back to the Future” thing is a thorn in the side. It would truly be great if the guy surprised us all and hit it of the park, but I won’t get my hopes up for the time being.
How do you feel about Berlanti taking Zemeckis’ place here? Are you still interested in the project?