Oliver Megaton Is Readying Sci-Fi 'Spartacus' Tale, THE CHAMPION


Let's get one thing straight here: Oliver Megaton can't direct action. Can. Not. Direct. Action.

Believe me. Yes. Me, and anyone who has tried to keep up with this man's editing tomfoolery as seen in such films like Taken 2 and Taken 3 only to end up with an ocular aneurysm all because our dear film auteur decides to use every single angle with as many cuts as possible for a single stunt. It's the kind of thing that strikes a major chord for anyone critical of how action is depicted on film, be it fans or other film professionals in general, and personally, this isn't necessarily to say that Transporter 3 wasn't a fun ride in 2008, and it certainly had its moments. However, there's no question that Megaton's approach to directing action is much ado with folks observing and he has CLEARLY lost his way ever since.

On that note, one can only hope that he's been listening to reason. The word now is that he's readying another action project and this time it pertains to the latest script turned in by actor-turned-scribe Hal Ozlan for the new sci-fi actioner, The Champion. THR described this film as a futuristic take on Spartacus with our hero wrongfully imprisoned for an act of terrorism and forced to fight his way through the roster of highly skilled and trained inmates to survive and win his freedom.

Ask me and I'll tell you the last time I enjoyed anything Spartacus-related was on STARZ. Needless to say, the drama was as equally on point as was the action and you can tell the coordinators and cinematographers knew how to film great fight sequences and stunts, and didn't need 15 cuts from 27 different angles just to show the late, great Andy Whitfield taking a sword and severing some poor chump's noggin clean off - although considering how cool the show is, as is the genius of its creator Steven DeKnight, I'm inclined to believe he would have found a way to make even THAT work.

Steve Richards and his Endurance Media banner are backing the film and are looking to roll cameras early next year with Richards producing along with colleagues Steve Barnett and James Tomlinson. Brian Spink will executive produce while casting details remain pending.

Both Taken 2 and Taken 3 made bank in 2012 and 2015, respectively, so bravo to Oliver in his endeavors. It still begs asking though, that for all the millions of dollars his films have made that he and the folks in the editing room take a step back and consider not trying so hard to turn every action sequence into a frenetic, knee-jerk Bourne-on-crack punch-punch/kick-kick frenzied mess that only a loaded hamster with A.D.D. can comprehend. Because paying 15 bucks to get dizzy (and possibly nauseous) in a movie theater is not why anyone should go to the movies, and last I checked, I don't own a hamster to help understand things.

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