Thursday, 10 March 2011

Oh Man, Oh God: Sam Worthington as Allan Quatermain

Yes, Sam Worthington, he who set the world on fire with his magnificent, nuanced, subtle, understated I can't even continue this sentence I'm so outraged.

Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation) has signed on to star and produce DreamWorks' "Quatermain" film, based on the "King's Solomon's Mines" novel by H Rider Haggard.

Allan Quatermain was the hero of the book, in which he leads an expedition into an unexplored region of Africa to find the brother of a friend as well as a fabled treasure of the lost mines. A second book called "Allan Quatermain" soon followed.

DreamWorks' version is set in a time in which humans have left Earth and sees Quatermain return to the planet from a temporary stay in space. Mark Verheiden (Timecop, The Mask) was the writer behind the first script when the project was revealed early last year.

Extra tidbit: Back in 2008, when The Asylum (Snakes on a Train, Transmorphers) was trying to rip off "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," the company released "Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls" straight to video. Obviously it was awful.
No!  No.  No, no, no.  No.  No.  Nnno.  Nnnnno.  NNNNNNNN

Seriously, why are Hollywood having such an accursed hard time adapting Allan Quatermain? The man was Indiana Jones before George Lucas & Steven Spielberg were glints in their parents' eyes!  He's a tough, grizzled adventurer who goes on rough-and-tumble quests through ancient lost kingdoms.  This isn't hard, people!

King Solomon's Mines in particular is a great adventure, easily suitable for adaptation to the big screen.  It's the template for such great tales as The Lost World, The Land That Time Forgot, The Man Who Would Be King, The Moon Pool, Lost Horizon, "The Moon of Skulls," and who knows how many other Lost World yarns.  The book's been adapted 6 times, and they still haven't done better than the magnificent 1937 one with Paul Robeson.  And now we have... Sam Worthington as Allan Quatermain.  Jings.  What's next, She with Hayden Panettiere?

Oh, and I simply can't wait for all the inevitable squealing about how this rips off Indiana Jones.  Or the recent Mummy films.  Or Drake's Fortune.


  1. Man, that really is lame. I didn't like the guy before, I dislike him even more now.

    Maybe this will go the way of "Mountains of Madness" though. One can hope.

    - Aaron

  2. Remember when I said that the crux of the problem is that people are stupid? That goes double for Hollywood.

  3. The guy rubs me up the wrong way sometimes, but it's extremely rubbish all the same. All I can hope is that Cameron decides to fasttrack Avatar 2, and Sam'll have to leave. And why are they casting a young guy? Get someone like Peter O'Toole or John Hurt, someone old, wiry and commanding. Hell, even someone like Michael Caine: Harry Brown shows he can be tough when he wants to.

  4. Who would want to pay to see an old guy, Al?

    Thats exactly the sort of question the suits in hollywood would ask, its the reason why they moaned about Viggo Mortenson playing Aragorn, and the reason we got Elijah Wood as Frodo. Harry Brown didn't even come out in Wide Release here.

    Even though the older generations make up the bulk of the voting population in America, they don't make up the bulk of the movie going population. Which is mainly made up of Males, Age 18-35, Who don't want to be reminded they will have no choice but to get old themselves one day. It totally harshes the mellow man.

    And though the American viewing public is not as important as it once was, as far as Hollywood is concerned it's still mighty popular. And as such they will continue to cater to it.. I would imagine this is a perfectly good reason as to why we will never see "The Hour of the Dragon" adapted.

  5. Who would want to pay to see an old guy, Al?

    Ah, of course. Still, there are exceptions like Gran Torino, but they're banking on proven badass Clint Eastwood. Hmm, Clint Eastwood as Allan Quatermain...

  6. Exactly, Clint is a known quantity. Just like Stalone and the expendables. It dosen't matter that he's old because he kicks ass.

    But the bulk of movies that feature older actors, even actors like Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman or Robert Redford.. all actors who were top stars in their day and who drew in the young people.. tend to be geared and marketed towards the AARP set these days.

    It's a sad state of affairs, but its not unexpected.. that same feeling's been going on for as long as there have been granddads and young men to tell them to sit by the fire while the real men go deal with this..

  7. thry should make a mix of this oh my goddddd and GARBAGE DAY!!!!!!

  8. "Seriously, why are Hollywood having such an accursed hard time adapting Allan Quatermain?"

    Because they always have to tinker. With EVERYTHING. And, in the case of King Solomon's Mines, they're tinkering with perfection.

    That's obviously a recipe for disaster.

  9. Oh no! I've just been reading through HRH's books, and this is the last thing I expected. Darn Hollywood!