Ever since 3D exploded into the film zeitgeist again, 3D films revolving around concerts have been a steady appearance. Sure, their numbers aren’t overly excessive, with about 3 or 4 a year, with hugely popular concert films around pop megastars like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and to a lesser extent, The Jonas Brothers facing off against more independent affairs made by seasoned filmmakers usually revolving around the stars of yesteryear such as The Rolling Stones. Now, we get to indulge ourselves with a 3D concert film involving metal’s own primadonna superstars; Metallica.
Metallica: Through The Never promises to be a little different to the usual fare found in this niche; its production company Picturehouse has just recently been resurrected by its creator Bob Berney, so it has a lot to prove. Originally Picturehouse was a production outfit created to benefit and release independent movies in conjunction with New Line Cinema and HBO productions, both owned by Time Warner. As many of you will be aware the reason behind both Skyfall‘s and The Hobbit’s severe delay was the financial struggle of New Line Cinema, before it was consolidated into Warner Brothers.
After that it was expected that Warner Brothers would combine Picturehouse with their own independent filmmaking wing, but instead Warner Brothers closed both of them in 2008, prompting a lot of shock and disappointment. Picturehouse Bob Berney has been fighting for his love for a while now and he has finally won, buying the Picturehouse trademark and separating from Warner Brothers. Metallica: Through The Never 3D will be Berney’s first film in five years so there is a lot on the line for the passionate producer. Considering this is the studio that was involved in the production and distribution of the greatest film of all time; Guillermo Del Toro‘s Spanish language masterpiece – Pan’s Labyrinth, I’m enthusiastic about their return.
Where this film will differ from the rest is the casting of rising star Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, Lawless) as a stagehand given an impossible quest that he must complete for the ageing iconic band as they prepare to play a sold out event. No words on what form this urgent mission will take, but it’s an interesting and unique idea. Many concert films mix in documentary footage about the artist’s career and lives, but not many go so far as to create a fictional narrative. I imagine that this story will be spliced throughout the concert, perhaps with the lyrical themes of songs currently being performed, creating the narrative backbone of the quest; which in turn would add a strong sense of dynamism to the somewhat stale concert film format.
Dane DeHaan is a very capable young actor, having provided one of the strong centrepieces in the interesting, Chronicle and a competent supporting role in Lawless as the young crippled boy. His real time to shine will be in The Amazing Spiderman 2, where he has been cast in the important role of Harry Osborne, previously occupied by James Franco in Sam Raimi’s; Tobey Maguire led Spiderman trilogy.
The film will be directed by Nimrod Antal (wish I was making that name up) who previously directed the lacklustre-but-still-better-than-the-awful-second-film, Predators, as well as the pretty standard thriller Armored and meh-tastic horror film Vacancy. He’s a competent director so I’m sure there will be no problems behind the camera for this project.
Metallica: Through The Never sounds like a promising endeavour, though it’s unclear yet how exactly the fictional narrative will tie in the actual concert. The fictional narrative and young rising star, could have possibly been created to attempt to widen the audience of a film featuring Metallica. While they are one of the biggest metal bands on the planet, it wouldn’t hurt to attract an audience that wasn’t necessarily into metal. There has been no trailer released just yet, so it will be telling to see how they choose to market the film to the mass media and mainstream audiences.