After filming in early ’18, Sony, Aaron Schneider and Tom Hanks‘ Greyhound, a CG-propelled WWII action thriller, was looking like a possible problem. Schneider fiddled and faddled in post for well over a year, and then came the COVID concerns. Sony’s initial plan was to release it on 3.22.20, then 5.8.20, and finally 6.12.20. Today TheWrap‘s Brian Welk reported that rather than sweat a streaming release, Sony has decided to sell the film to Apple TV for $70 million.
Sony honcho: “Let’s at least be frank with each other in the privacy of the conference room — our confidence in Greyhound isn’t what it could be.”
Sony marketing team: “Arguably it has problems, but we need to give it the old college try. The glass is half full, not half empty.”
Apple TV management (on speaker phone): “We’ll give you $70 million for it.”
Sony honcho: “Sold!”
From “CG Action in the North Atlantic,” posted on 3.5.20: “Remember the mostly organic realism of Saving Private Ryan (’98)? Well, you can forget that aesthetic as far as Aaron Schneider‘s Greyhound (Sony, 6.12) is concerned. Yeah, it’s another Tom Hanks ‘dad’ movie (stolid guy, old-fashioned values, facing adversity and tough odds, grace under pressure) but if you ignore the interior shots, the Greyhound trailer looks like a damn CG cartoon.
“The phrase that’s coming to mind is ‘Call of the Wild on the North Atlantic’ — another digitally created, steroid-injected World War II film a la Roland Emmerich‘s Midway.
“Remember Mark Robson‘s The Bridges at Toko-Ri (’54)? Or Humphrey Bogart‘s Action on the North Atlantic? Or Cary Grant‘s Destination Tokyo? They were all mostly or partially shot on sound stages and ‘faked’ to a significant degree, but they nonetheless conveyed a certain tactile reality — a feeling that is plainly lacking in Aaron Schneider’s video-game fantasy, at least as presented in this trailer.
“Remember The Enemy Below? Or Otto Preminger‘s In Harm’s Way? Or Sink The Bismarck? Or Alfred Hitchcock‘s Lifeboat, which was shot entirely in a studio tank? These and other films presented at least a semblance of reality on the high seas during World War II. Real ships, real submarines, real salt water, real waves — not a Sony Playstation recreation.
“I understand and respect the fact that ‘a portion of principal photography for the film was filmed aboard the USS Kidd, a World War II-era Fletcher-class destroyer museum ship in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,’ but the outdoor action footage simply doesn’t look real. Everything looks fucking fake.
“Is the bottom-line purpose of this film to promote the video-game version that will follow the theatrical release? Because that’s what it looks like.”