Director Joe Carnahan has gotten a green light to start production next week on The Grey, a thriller that stars Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo (Warrior), Nonso Anozie, and Joe Anderson. They play oil-rig roughnecks left stranded by a plane crash right in the hunting zone of a pack of rogue wolves on the frozen Alaskan tundra. Coming off the Fox film The A-Team, Carnahan said he was glad to be making a down and dirty indie, even though the locations in Vancouver in the Northern British Columbia region are numbingly cold. “It gets to be 30 below, and when we went out the other day, I took off my hat to see how long I could last, and my skin was burning with frostbite in a little over a minute,” Carnahan told me. “In a way, it’s great, because it beats the shit out of the cast and that suits the storyline.” He said cold and an indie budget leads to a quick-paced shoot with an economy of takes, in a planned 40-day shoot. “I haven’t had a situation like this since Narc, where there’s no distributor, but you get to make the movie you want to, staying as light on your feet as you can.” Though he was outspoken about his problems how The A-Team was sold, Carnahan said the experience was mostly positive, “but stressful when it is all about shooting for a release date that you just gotta make. This movie is one-fifth the budget, but that’s the way it should be.” As for the story, Carnahan said what makes it exceptional is the wolf pack: “The wolves have a territorial range of 300 miles, and they will run you out if you cross that. If you’re within 30 miles of their den as is the case here, they will try to kill you. It’s simple arithmetic, but it creates an opportunity for one of those man vs. nature movies I love like Deliverance and Touching The Void.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.