So, tomorrow, Warner Bros.’ Poseidon retread disaster flick has its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Granted, New Yorkers are more easily amused by tentpole films than those premiere-weary Los Angelenos. (Just look how NYers slobber over D-list celebs.) But this $200 mil+ bloated flick opening officially on May 12th is box-office challenged, from the really bad tracking I’ve learned about. Because of that, and the first cut being so long, not to mention the cost overruns, Warner Bros.’ prez of production Jeff Robinov is done with Petersen, I’m told. (So The Wolf won’t be bringing Batman vs. Superman to the big screen, which he was hot to do at one point.) Yes, we know that Petersen begins the pic the same way he began Das Boot, with an underwater shot that shows the ship’s fuselage slowly emerging from the deep. And, yes, we know this is Petersen’s watery trilogy, following Perfect Storm. But what were TPTB thinking? Petersen was obsessed with making this version “different,” and he directs it ridiculously straight. So now all we have is the umpteenth “thrill ride” pic with C-list stars like Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss. These two don’t even qualify as campy has-beens, either. Boring! Missing is everything that made Irwin Allen’s 1972 Poseidon Adventure a delicious romp, including the wonderfully kvetchy Shelley Winters character. And what’s with remaking a bad movie to begin with? Then, talk about missed opportunity: in today’s religion-is-cool climate, possibilities for attracting holy roller audiences were infinite if the Gene Hackman character had remained a minister. Now the band of survivors is led by a poker hustler (Josh Lucas). Stupid move. Finally, I hear the studio expectation is for the movie to do well overseas only.
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