Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: io9 / Comic Book Movie
Film maker Gary Kurtz hasn't worked on an sci fi film since the late 80s, but he is set to take a seat behind the camera once again for the film "Panzer 88", a movie which many are describing as "Band of Brothers" meets "Hellboy".
As most of you know, Kurtz became a household name in the 70s and 80s for his work on both "Star Wars" and "Empire Strikes Back", a feud with George Lucas prevented him from continuing to work on the series, and the producers career seemed to fade soon after.
Possibly soured by the movie biz, Kurtz only worked on one film, "The Steal", during the 1990s and only again resurfaced during the later part of this decade with a couple more projects, the television film "The Tale of Jack Frost", the television series "Friends and Heroes" and the feature film "77".
Now, however, the film maker is stacking his projects one after the other, as if revitalized to once again make movies. His list of upcoming films include, "Black Ice", "The Last Hand",
"Resistance", "Obsession", "Last Chance Saloon", "Gangster Kittens" and, of course, "Panzer 88", which seems to be the most ambitious of the lot.
As Kurtz recently told the LA Times newspaper, the film will follow the members of a WWII German tank battalion, lead by the Nazi's largest tank, the massive "King Tiger", who are penetrating deep into the Soviet Union. While on maneuvers the group encounters a strange, gigantic, paranormal monster and are put into a life-and-death struggle against the creature.
Kurtz, who is serving as a producer on the film, explains, "(Panzer 88 is a ..) spooky wartime adventure. It's a visceral, reality-based story with horror overtones, and the idea is to have be like the best of the graphic novels these days."
Director Peter Briggs, who served as the screenwriter for "Hellboy" adds, "Our military aspects are more realistic, and mostly akin to the claustrophobic action and tension of 'Das Boot.' We're aiming to do for the tank genre what 'Hunt For Red October' and 'Crimson Tide' did for submarine flicks. Only, with a supernatural twist. We're upping the ante with visuals, equipment, and scenes that have never been seen in a World War II milieu. In retrospect, it's strange nobody's thought to do this in quite this way before..."
Indeed, having Nazi soldiers as the heroes in a monster movie is something that has never been tried before.
"Panzer 88" reportedly will have a budget somewhere around $20 million and the production team has enlisted the New Zealand based WETA Digital, who has worked on Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "King Kong", "District 9", the Korean monster film "The Host", "Avatar" and the upcoming "Planet of the Apes" reboot "Rise of the Apes", to work on the special effects.
A giant monster throwing German tanks around as toys! Sounds like my kind of movie ....... then again, I did pretend like I was some sort of giant creature and throw my die-cast WWII tanks around when I was a kid. So, mine may very well be a biased opinion on the matter.
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