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Metallica’s 3D Movie Gets a Title, Release Date, and… Lead Actor?

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Twenty-six year old actor Dane DeHaan will very likely be a household name in the not-too-distant future: he was the star of last year’s surprise hit, Chronicle, and was recently cast as Harry Osborn (non-nerds probably know the character as “The Guy James Franco Used to Play”) in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. (He also plays “Second White Soldier” in Lincoln. I’m not kidding.) And as if the young thespian’s career wasn’t already going swimmingly, he’s also just landed the lead in Through the Never, Metallica’s 3D concert film directed by Predators helmer Nimród Antal.

Wait… what? Why does a concert film need a lead actor… or any actor, for that matter? Because apparently it’s not purely a concert film: according to a press release, “DeHaan plays a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down.” Which leads me to wonder:

  • Will Metallica fans give two craps about the plight of a young crew member?
  • Is it possible DeHaan’s storyline will be more entertaining than the concert footage?
  • Does this mean we get to see more Lars Ulrich’s award-worthy acting?

We have time to ponder these issues — the movie’s release date is August 9. That means it will open opposite Elysium, Matt Damon’s new sci-fi action flick from District 9 writer/director Neill Blomkamp. It’s also just a week after the release of Bruce Willis’ Red 2 and 300: Rise of an Empire (a prequel to 300, duh), and a week before 2 Guns, an action-thriller starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. All of these movies will be competing for more or less the same audience (young men), and while I obviously can’t predict the future, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that any one of these flicks can and will clobber Through the Never. I mean, they’ve got Hetfield and DeHaan competing with the sequels to two action hits, the new tentpole from a critically-acclaimed filmmaker and leading man, and DENZEL FUCKING WASHINGTON, a giant movie star whose shittiest films still make fuckloads of money.

And maybe even more troubling, from a business perspective, is that Through the Never will mark the return the of Picturehouse, a film distribution company that was founded in 2005 and shut down by Warner Bros. in 2008 because — duh — it wasn’t profitable. It’s under new ownership now, so maybe Picturehouse’s fortune will change, but, again, DENZEL WASHINGTON, BRUCE WILLIS, and MATT DAMON. Not terrific odds.

Then again, Through the Never probably cost a fraction of what those others movies cost, so it’s possible that even if it can’t compete with the Elysiums and 2 Gunses, it will turn a profit. I guess we’ll find out in August! Expect a full promotional blitz to start well before then.

 

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