Gary Oldman Joins Goyer Thriller

Hunter Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Oldman and Gigandet Join Goyer Thriller
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
February 8, 2008

Gary Oldman (upcoming The Dark Knight) and Cam Gigandet (upcoming Never Back Down) are in negotiations to joing Odette Yustman (Cloverfield) in David Goyer's untitled supernatural thriller that Platinum Dunes is producing for Rogue Pictures, says The Hollywood Reporter.

The script, which Goyer wrote, follows a 19-year-old girl who is haunted by a dybbuk, the soul of a dead person barred from heaven, in the form of a young boy who perished in Auschwitz.

Yustman will play the girl, while Gigandet will play her sympathetic boyfriend. Oldman is the spiritual specialist who helps the girl.

Shooting is to begin March 3 in Chicago with Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller producing.

Sounds interesting and it'll be good to see more of Odette plus Oldman is always value, but i am not sold on Goyer as a director.
I kind of feel sorry for Gary Oldman right now. He probably just thought "Well, I was in Batman Begins which Goyer wrote, and that was awesome, so this will be awesome as well, right?"

Poor guy, he has no idea what he's getting himself into :'(
I kind of feel sorry for Gary Oldman right now. He probably just thought "Well, I was in Batman Begins which Goyer wrote, and that was awesome, so this will be awesome as well, right?"

Poor guy, he has no idea what he's getting himself into :'(

Yeah because he is definitely the type of actor that agrees to this kinds of projects blindly. Please.
Yeah because he is definitely the type of actor that agrees to this kinds of projects blindly. Please.

You must have not seen the 1998 version of Lost in Space then.
You must have not seen the 1998 version of Lost in Space then.

Yep I did. I thought Oldman was great in it and I actually thought it was an entertaining flick.
I'm not going to act like Goyer is some profoundly awful director, even though the failure of Blade Trinity rested heavily on his shoulders. I think he's still learning the ropes is all.
this sounds a lot like The Invisible, another Goyer film which... oh, goodness... um... Batman Begins sure kicked ass, huh?
Sounds like a cross between Sixth Sense and Poltergist, Oh well even if it sucks I'm sure oldman will deliver a good preformance.
Script Review that can out a while ago...


Screenplay: David S. Goyer
Director(s): David S. Goyer

MPAA Rating: Unavailable

Reviewed by: CAXE - 11.13.07

After I read Born I couldn’t help but wonder if the writer of Batman Begins was “slumming it.”

Now don’t get me wrong, David S. Goyer knows his stuff, but his movies for me are either hit or miss, and it seems he only has two genres: decent super-hero and sub-par sci-fi/horror. Now he has a few things in the works that may change that, mainly the sci-fi/actioner romp Jumper, even though he only adapted it from a novel. He also has a bunch of superhero stuff ahead, The Flash and Magneto as well as the story he helped craft for The Dark Knight, but I am not counting those because he already proved he can handle the super hero film (even though the Blade trilogy did get a little tired at the end).

So here I am, having read Born and scratching my head. Why am I scratching my head? Let’s get into the plot and then you can scratch with me.

A whispering little boy tells us that “some people are doorways.”

Portland. CASEY, a freshman in college, talks to her friend ROMY on the phone about a weird dream she’s been having. It basically involves seeing a creepy little boy in old fashioned clothes dubbed BARTO wearing a red glove, a bull terrier (the Target dog minus the red spot) with a mask of the boy on its face, and a jar with an embryo inside – and it’s alive.

Romy jokingly tries to interpret what the dream means but Casey changes the subject. Romy asks how babysitting is going and Casey explains that both the BABY and MATTY, the five-year-old, are asleep. She hears a thump upstairs and goes to investigate – Matty stands over the baby’s crib waving a mirror back and forth over it. Casey goes to stop him and he says “Jumby wants to be born now” right before he smashes the mirror into her face.

Casey is okay, just a small bruise on her face and Matty is dazed and apologetic, as are his parents. Casey goes home and sees her DAD and ALLISON, her dad’s girlfriend. Casey only says that she’s tired and going to sleep.

In her bathroom, she takes her birth control pill and hears tapping from behind her medicine cabinet mirror, but shrugs it off. The next morning, Casey finds a potato bug in her breakfast.

At school, Casey has lunch with Romy and LISA, another friend. Casey tells them what happened the previous evening with Matty and Romy explains that it’s bad luck, even deadly, for newborns to see their reflection until after their first birthday, but Casey laughs it off as silly superstition.

During class, Casey has hallucinations and sees things on the board, such as “Jumby wants to be born.” After class, Romy tells Casey something is wrong with her eye. Casey goes to look – one of her eyes has started turning an unnatural blue.

The eye doctor is puzzled but says it’s probably nothing, just an effect of the impact from the mirror; but he orders a few tests just to be sure. MARK, Casey’s boyfriend, drives her home from the tests. On the way, Casey sees a dog walking with the mask from her dream.

At home, Mark and Casey talk about what happens after death. Casey says she doesn’t believe in an afterlife because she can’t feel her mother’s presence. She talks about how her mother said she had found her mother, a big discovery considering she was adopted, but Casey never found out because her mother killed herself the next day at the mental institution where she was being held. Casey says she’s still not over it.

That night Casey studies her eye – the blue spot is growing and taking over her naturally brown eyes. She hears the tapping again from behind the mirror cabinet. She opens it and Barto, the little boy from her dream, sits, contorted in the cabinet and reaching for her. Casey screams and Mark runs to her side, but finds nothing.

Later, Mark leaves and Casey takes the mirror off its hinges and sets it on the floor. As she falls asleep, she looks at a photo next to her bed: Casey when she was eight with her mother.

The next morning, Casey goes out for a jog but sees an ambulance in front of Matty’s house – the baby is dead. She looks up and sees Matty staring down at her through a window all creepy-like.

Later, the eye doctor tells Casey all the tests came back normal. The doctor then asks if Casey is a twin, to which she replies she’s an only child. The doctor explains genetic mosaicism, when an individual has two or more different genetic cell populations – essentially two types of DNA instead of just one. This happens when there are two placentas become fused and swap DNA in the womb. The doctor tells Casey this is the best explanation for what’s going on with her eye.

Casey goes to see her father and at work and asks about the twin thing. He reluctantly explains that yes, she was a twin, but her brother died when the placentas fused and the cord became wrapped around his neck. Casey feels guilt that she killed her brother but her father tells her it wasn’t her fault. Casey asks if that was what made her mother commit suicide to which her father replies that it was part of it, but she was clinically depressed, so it was a million things at once that made her do it.

Casey asks if they came up with names for her and her unborn brother. Her father tells her they came up with nicknames – hers was Pongo – and her brother’s was Jumby.

That’s the basic set up.

Casey does research into her past and finds an article on a Holocaust survivor, SOFI, in the attic. In the photo for the article, the woman is pictured, but something is in a reflection within the photo – the boy from her dream. She goes to see Sofi at a retirement home and asks about the boy in the picture – she freaks out and tells Casey to leave.

Casey’s hallucinations get worse and her eyes keep turning the unnatural blue.

Sofi contacts her again and tells her to come see her. On the second visit, Sofi reveals everything – the boy in the picture, her connection to Casey’s mother, the importance of twins, why everything is happening to her (part of the answer – Jewish evil spirits) – and that her life and the lives of her friends and family are in grave danger.

Now, the plotting, dialogue, and basic characters aren’t bad for a film in this genre, especially compared to the crop (or should I say crap) of horror movies that have littered cinema as of late. The seeds that set up the mystery aspects of the story are set up well, but the overall story, the concept, the execution – it’s just… mediocre and hackneyed. We have seen this all before; there’s nothing here that’s new or unique or especially captivating, nothing here that challenges the genre or turns it on its side. If you had taken Goyer’s name off of it and handed it to me, I’d probably peg it to the guy who did The Grudge 2 or some other PG-13 horror film.

The one thing I will give credit to Goyer for being original is the idea of mixing mainstream horror conventions with the twist of Jewish mysticism - I have never heard of a mainstream film involving possessed children, twins, and Jewish evil spirits.

But that’s where my praise ends because all originality goes out the window when we have the typical jump moments shoehorned in between plot development and a rising body count. This honestly felt like a cookie cutter film, as if Goyer went through the checklist of substandard horror movie clichés and checked off the whole goddamn thing. Creepy child says something ominous – check. Nature motif that represents evil keeps reappearing – check. Finding a friend in the dark only to find out he/she is now evil/possessed – check. Eerie **** that has no apparent motivation or explanation other than the fact that it’s eerie –triple check.

Now I don’t hate horror movies; in fact, some are quite good – but it all comes down to the writing for me. I like there to be a reason something happens. Making weird **** happen just because it’s weird doesn’t cut it – The Exorcist, The Ring, even The Skeleton Key, all those worked. But The Grudge and all the other horror films that inspired it and it inspired – why? Why does the ghost make that sound? Why the black hair? The fingers on the back of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s head? And what’s up with the white little boy? Yes, it’s the world of the supernatural, but just because it’s supernatural doesn’t give a movie permission to do random crap.

So back to Born – once again we are tossed scary stuff like hands coming out of mouths and twisted, possessed corpses turning their heads upside down for no apparent reason. Oh, and evil babies, which freak me out. And there’s a point where everything just sort of goes into nonsense territory. I know that it’s hard to make a film where people react realistically to going into other dimension or warding off a demon spirit thing, but come on.

I just can’t help but wonder why Goyer didn’t try something more inventive or unique; he’s certainly capable enough to pull off something new or unusual in this genre. I really wish Goyer had been resourceful with this because instead of writing something good or great, I feel that he has wasted his time on a script that feels tired and silly and that will inevitably lead to a film of the same nature. At the very least, let’s hope all that creative energy that wasn’t used on Born has instead been channeled to Magneto and The Flash.
Sounds interesting. I like Gary Oldman a lot, hopefully this'll be good, too.
It will deserve to be watched once considering Oldman is in the movie, but we'll see how it turns out.
Goyer has a lot to learn..but think about this. He worked with the best, including Del Toro and Nolan..and yet, I'm surprised at how he is at this stage of 'film making'.

People would die to work with these gentlemen. I guess some people are just natural directors...and while some are not. Sorry Dave.
either Oldman has no idea what he's getting himself into or he has a good idea. i'd like to think Oldman is perfect but i just don't have faith in Goyer as director. even the Invisible sucked.
I think Oldman is doing it out of obligations. It's like going to a friend of a friend's party and you're not in the mood...but you still go anyway.
kinda like how Ben Affleck was explaining that to Matt Damon in Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back? :woot:
Here's the first shot from the upcoming horror film "Unborn," featuring a look at Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) and Odette Yustman (Cloverfield).

The story is of a girl (Yustman) tormented by the soul of a boy who died in the Holocaust. Meagan Good will play the girl's best friend, and Carla Gugino has been cast as her mother. Jane Alexander will play a Holocaust survivor whose brother's spirit is returning. Idris Elba will play a priest who helps Rabbi Oldman perform exorcisms. Rhys Coiro is the college professor of Yustman's character, and Cam Gigandet will play her boyfriend.

"Unborn" is written and directed by David S. Goyer, the man who helmed "Blade: Trinity" and has written scripts for "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight."

Megan Good is Hot, Idris Elba is cool and Gary Oldman is the man!

I may actully watch this now even thought it will probabley suck
Oldman's look in the film is interesting.

After The Dark Knight, I'll see anything that Goyer writes or directs.
I think Oldman is doing it out of obligations. It's like going to a friend of a friend's party and you're not in the mood...but you still go anyway.
Maybe yeah, but Oldman has done bad films before*. It's not like everything he touches turns into gold. Sadly.

* Dead Fish, Sin, Tiptoes, Lost in Space, Air Force One etc.
The film will mostly suck, it just sounds so. And didn't Goyer learn mistakes from his The Invisible?
Oldman's look in the film is interesting.

After The Dark Knight, I'll see anything that Goyer writes or directs.

Goyer helped with the story, but most of the credit for Dark Knight would have to go to Nolan and his brother, who wrote the screenplay.

David Goyer Freaks Out Beaks with THE UNBORN!

David Goyer's Comic Con presentation for THE UNBORN was so impressive, I nearly frittered away all my time with the writer-director before getting a Batman question in. Nearly. We get to it at the end. Not that there's a whole lot to discuss (other than "Is $500 million possible?"). But let's concentrate on THE UNBORN, Goyer's ultra-freaky exorcism yarn starring the delectable Odette Yustman (Beth from CLOVERFIELD) as a young woman possessed by the none-too-happy spirit of her stillborn twin brother. To drive the resurgent little sucker out of her rockin' bod (can it be a coincidence that this is produced by Michael Bay?), a non-Catholic exorcist (Gary Oldman) is consulted. Okay, so the bare-bones plot description isn't a world beater. Trust me, you'd be dialing up your "meh" to a "Why'd you wait four films to make a proper horror film, Goyer!" if you saw this footage. Some of it might be familiar (there's an institutionalized old man doing the Regan spider walk in one scene), but the bulk of the imagery will surely haunt my ever-so-slightly feverish dreams this evening (love getting sick at Comic Con!). If I had to describe the tone, it'd be SESSION 9 crossed with THE EXORCIST III - with more masked dogs.

While the footage was encouraging, Goyer's enthusiasm as we chatted in the green room following the panel was the closer. He's clearly proud of this film, and fully committed to making a horror film that stays with you long after the shock from the KNB gore gags has worn off. Then again, I'm a sucker for any movie that combines fused placentas, heterochromia, Kabbalah, potato bugs and Josef Mengele. It's been too long, really.

No skipping to THE DARK KNIGHT answers! You owe Goyer this much.

Beaks: So this is going in a different direction for you. Or it's at least different from what you've been doing.

David Goyer: Or maybe it's back to the stuff that I was known for. I've never done a straight-out horror film. God knows, I'm a fan, but it wasn't like I said "Okay, I'm going to do a horror film." I just had this idea, and it was a horror idea. Then once I started working on it... I just don't think, in the last ten or twenty years, that there have been that many truly good horror films. I thought the original RING was good... I thought THE OTHERS was good... I liked [THE EXORCISM OF] EMILY ROSE... I liked MOTHMAN PROPHECIES... I liked SESSION 9... and that's about it.

Beaks: It sounds like you enjoy things with a slow mounting sense of dread.

Goyer: I do. Don't get me wrong, I liked the remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but it didn't scare me. It shocked me, but it didn't scare me. And I like stuff that creeps me out. SESSION 9 really creeped me out. And there's one scene in THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES where he gets the call from... I can't remember the character's name (and neither can Beaks)... but it creeped me out. And sometimes Lynch does stuff in his films...

Beaks: With sound.

Goyer: Yeah, with sound. And there's that moment in MULHOLLAND DR. where the guys go back by the dumpster. I find that stuff really disturbing. I find perversions in real life disturbing, so... I guess I was kind of going for that. I think torture porn... there's obviously a place for it, but it's maligned the genre. And it's very hard at studios to say, "I'm going to do a serious horror film" - even though THE RING was successful. So I thought, "Can I do something that's scary that also has credible acting in it?" Which is why we went for people like Jane Alexander and Gary Oldman.

Beaks: It must be gratifying to get those actors, especially since this is your first original screenplay in ten years.

Goyer: I was flattered. And, trust me, Gary didn't do it just because of my association with BATMAN BEGINS. He really liked the script. He thought it was smart and different. I think Gary's one of the top five or ten actors in the world. It also... I've done so many adaptations and things like that, and it just kind of reminded me to go back to my roots and do something original, do something that you find scary that comes from you. It's very rewarding to have somebody like Gary Oldman say, "Yeah, I want to do it."

Beaks: In writing the script, did you think in terms of what is essentially THE EXORCIST idiom, or did you try to get in there and explode those conventions?

Goyer: It started from this notion of having an unborn twin. I saw this news piece about people who grew up as only children and found out that, in utero, they had a twin that died, and for one reason or another, their parents never told them. There's a whole series of support groups for these people. So I thought, "Well, that's a really broad idea." And that led me to thinking, "What would that unborn twin had been like?" And in particular... sometimes what happens with unborn twins is that there's this instance where, with fraternal twins, the placentas become fused. They'll have one placenta. And the umbilical cord of one twin will get wrapped around the throat of the other and strangle it. But the mother, because of the situation, will be forced to carry both to term, so the living twin is still wrapped up with the dead twin for the rest of the pregnancy. And because of medical complications, they can't abort the one fetus. That was the start of the movie. That's just creepy and ****ed up. I can't really think of a movie that deals with that. That was a great starting off point. This led me to do research that ultimately moved into "Well, we have to do an exorcism." But it's not a Catholic church exorcism; it's a Hebraic exorcism. There's a whole different kind of idiom in it. There's this thing called a "Hand in Miriam", and there's iconography that deals with mirrors. And there's this dog with a mask, which you might've seen in the presentation. Dogs with masks I find weird. I even love that thing in Philip Kaufman's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, where the dog has the human face on it. I just think that's weird and surreal.

Beaks: You mentioned incorporating Mengele's experiments with twins. How does that fit in?

Goyer: Again, it's one of these things where you just let your ideas flow. I'm researching twins, and there's this medical phenomenon called heterochromia where occasionally a person will have an iris that's mostly got brown pigment, but also a little of blue. Sometimes you see it in animals, and every once in a while in people. I thought, "That's an interesting image." So I was researching what causes that: sometimes it happens from a tumor, sometimes it happens from blunt force trauma, and sometimes it happens if you've got twins with fused placentas. This was just a coincidence. And what'll happen is some of the chromosomal material from the one twin will sort of get infused into the other. It's called "genetic mosaicism", and it was just one of those happy accidents. So I thought, "That's what'll kick it off. This girl's just doing her thing, and then one day, one of her eyes starts to turn blue." She starts seeing medical doctors, and first they think it might be cancer, and this and that. And then they start finding chromosomes that aren't hers, and that's when it becomes a mystery. Then I was researching Mengele's experiments with twins, and he was fascinated with turning brown eyes into blue. All these disparate elements just sort of came together, and I was shocked that, when I sifted through them all, they made a kind of unified mythology. There's a lot of stuff from Kabbalah in it, too.

Beaks: How has Michael Bay been as a producer?

Goyer: He's been pretty hands off, which is nice. I think that I'm a lot more experienced than most of the directors they work with. I'm also the first writer/director that they've worked with. They also didn't develop it; I brought it to them. I said, "Hey, do you want to make this movie," and a week later we were in pre-production. But he's been very supportive. It's been cool. The other thing I learned is... this gets really technical, but I did this film called THE INVISIBLE, which is very different from the kind of stuff I normally do. Nina Jacobson was the head of Disney at the time; she loved the movie, but she got fired while we were making the movie. And the new regime was like, "What the hell is this?" The thing with Michael is that he's got a guaranteed release, and guaranteed marketing, and whatever. It doesn't matter if the head of Universal gets fired; with Michael, I've got this 800 lb. gorilla who's going to protect it no matter what happens. That's awesome.

Beaks: So THE DARK KNIGHT is at, what, $400 million now?

Goyer: (Cracking a smile) Not yet. Maybe next weekend.

Beaks: Well, you guys were finally able to get to this point where you could make this huge, thematically ambitious comic book movie... the one that we've been building toward since BLADE sort of reinvigorated the genre.

Goyer: I think so. There were the SUPERMAN movies, and then I think BLADE was the next iteration.

Beaks: That or METEOR MAN.

Goyer: Yeah. Or BLANKMAN.

Beaks: But having helped nurture the comic book film, it must be kind of gratifying to be a part of the film that brings it to full maturation.

Goyer: It's been a crazy evolution. I remember having these meetings when we started BLADE in 1994, and it was just such a maligned [project]. Marvel didn't even give a **** about the character; I think they optioned the rights to New Line for $25,000. I think their fee on the first film was $125,000. They didn't even care. SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, X-MEN, HULK... that was it. What BLADE taught studios is that all these secondary, tertiary characters can become franchises in their own right. And then to, a decade later, be invited to do Batman - which to me is the grandaddy of them all - is amazing. We're all really proud of the movie, but we're also surprised that this movie is this successful because it's a really dark, unrelenting movie. The convention is - and I can't tell you how many times I've had studios tell me this - "Oh, it's a popcorn movie. It's got to be light and frothy." I really liked IRON MAN, don't get me wrong... but the assumption is that it's got to be SPIDER-MAN or IRON MAN. Well, THE DARK KNIGHT is brutal, and it's going to beat them all. By, like, hundreds of millions of dollars.

Beaks: The timing is perfect. Next year we're going to get the demystification with WATCHMEN.

Goyer: And then it's anybody's guess what happens next. I think WATCHMEN will be the end of the first chapter; it will be the ultimate postmodern superhero film.

Beaks: So where does Batman go from there?

Goyer: It's really up to Chris. He's taking a month-long vacation. On DARK KNIGHT, it was about coming up with a story that was better than BATMAN BEGINS. I think it's going to be sort of geometrically, proportionately harder a third time. We'll see. We talked a long time on THE DARK KNIGHT before he said, "I think we've got something." I don't know. We'll see.

In the meantime, you'll see THE UNBORN... at some point. There doesn't appear to be a release date yet. Hopefully, they'll finish up the f/x in the Comic Con teaser and release it online posthaste.

Faithfully submitted,

Mr. Beaks
Well I am surprised how genuinely decent that looked, plus Odette Yustman is stunning. :O

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