Move over, Dragon Wars! Step aside, Skyline! Take a hike, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale! Empires of the Deep is coming to put the “epic” back in epic fail.
Bear witness to the trailer to see the hilarity three years of production and over $130 million have given life to.
I’ve been hearing off and on about this extremely troubled Chinese-American fantasy production Empires of the Deep for years, but it wasn’t until today that I really paid any attention to the hubbub. That’s because the trailer has found its way online, and my immediate thought after viewing it was that it was as if someone actually decided to spend a fortune producing an aquatic version of the fake science fiction epic Ben Affleck uses as a front to save Iranian hostages in Argo. Empires of the Deep exists. This is a real trailer for a real movie that we will supposedly be able to watch in real theaters sometime in the real future.
Twitch Film posted both the trailer and a detailed to-do about the sordid saga of Empires of the Deep’s deeply troubled production that began three years ago. The gist of it is that a very wealthy Chinese real estate tycoon wrote a script for an epic underwater sci-fi fantasy adventure flick and set about to co-finance the film. Monica Bellucci was announced to star in it. Catwoman director Pitof was hired to direct it. The late Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner was brought aboard to produce it. All three very quickly bailed on the project. That was in 2009. Jonathan Laurence was then brought in to direct, and when he abruptly departed the project, he wasn’t quiet about his disdain for how bad the production was (you can find his statements burying the production online). Michael French was hired to complete the film, and ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko was hired to look sexy while made up to look like the lovechild of Mer-Man and Evil Lynn.
Empires of the Deep is set in a mythical undersea world where a handsome young human falls in love with a beautiful mermaid, and their forbidden romance sets about an underwater war.
To be completely honest, the trailer looks kind of a cool in a “what if Golan-Globus made a Flash Gordon-esque Aquaman movie” kind of way. Did I say Golan-Globus? Maybe I should have said Playstation seeing as how the computer effects look like cut scenes from an Aquaman video game. Some of the visuals are still rather striking despite the obvious cheapness of the animation. But knowing this movie that spent three years in production supposedly cost upwards of $130 million to make… The only way what I’m seeing in this trailer cost that much money is if either the people making it had no damn clue what the hell they were doing and blew tens of millions in the process (likely) or someone behind the scenes was embezzling money from the budget (also possible). No way in hell this movie is ever grossing enough money to recoup its budget.
I’ll leave the behind-the-scenes issues to the people working on the movie to sort out because all I really care about is seeing Empires of the Deep with my own eyes. This looks like it could be a whole lot of fun, mostly in a train wreck cinema sort of way.
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