TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

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TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 24 Sep 2015, 17:44

Our French Tarantino-like movie-buff expert and journalist-turned-director Chirstophe Gans (SILENT HILL, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, CRYING FREEMAN, NECRONOMICON) first developed, from 1988 to 1991, an ambitious sci-fi project called TROOPER.

Inspired by Robert Heinlein's original novel of STARSHIP TROOPERS the script read as a kind of (UNIVERSAL) SOLDIER meets THE TERMINATOR meets Peter Pan in the 1930s New York of depression.

Gans and distributor/producer Samuel Hadida (TRUE ROMANCE, ONLY THE STRONG, RESIDENT EVIL) tried to get the project off the ground for years.

They were after Jean-Claude Van Damme and Christophe Lambert for the lead role, but also Dolph Lundgren it seems (as I found out digging into company archives), as Hadida hired a legal firm to get the services of Lundgren in the summer 1990. All three met in the spring of 1991 during the French publicity for COVER-UP (which Hadida's Metropolitan Filmexport was distributing)...

Not sure how far this went and if Dolph really got officially attached to it, I don't think he was a first choice either. This also a few months prior to filming UNIVERSAL SOLDIER so Lundgren might have been reluctant in signing for a somewhat similar concept of a futuristic super soldier.

Cast-wise, Gans also wanted to hire Donald Pleasance, HK martial arts star Cynthia Khan, Billy Drago, Mathilda May (LIFEFORCE), Patrick Bauchau etc.

For the crew, always looking among for his "idols" in movies he loves and for TROOPER Gans had chosen composer Basil Poledouris (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, ROBOCOP), Françoise Bonnot the editor of MISSION and Michael Cimino's YEAR OF THE DRAGON, cinematographer Bernard Lutic (REVOLUTION with Pacino, DIEN BIEN PHU, WINGED MIGRATION), and even concept designer Hans R. Giger (ALIEN, Jodorowski's DUNE) etc...

Of course even thougn it was budgeted around $10-12 million (70 million francs) this was too ambitious to get made ultimately.

More info and exclusive synopsis here:
http://www.dolph-ultimate.com/dolph-in/trooper.html
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby bomaz on 24 Sep 2015, 18:55

Interesting DH project.
I like Christophe over Tarantino (and more and more his movies too) though.
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 24 Sep 2015, 19:11

Oh there's no question! They're two different beasts (and their mivies too). Tarantino is way overated as a filmmaker and an a--hole (don't get me started)! And he may have watched as many movies but he's not as thought out and intelligeable as Gans while talking about cinema...
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby bomaz on 24 Sep 2015, 19:59

I have the same feeling. It's a shame Gans got unlucky with his project (his Bob Morane or his Rahan would have been tremendous french blockbusters).
I still watch Brotherhood of Wolves with pleasure from time to time.
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 24 Sep 2015, 20:05

You're forgetting NEMO (a.k.a. 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA) which they had spent years and $5 million into (between CRYING FREEMAN and BROTHERHOOD) before it was cancelled. ;)
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby bomaz on 24 Sep 2015, 20:39

Indeed (but shamefully I know more the universe of Bob Morane than the universe of Jules Vernes :oops: , and would have Dolph been a little more redhead, he would have made agreat Bill Balantine).
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 23 May 2016, 13:15

Gans on TROOPER, 25 years later and his comic, manga (AKIRA for storyboards) and videogame influences (in French):

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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby dude hallenbeck on 24 May 2016, 11:38

Gans is a hugely underrated film maker. Jeez, this would certainly qualify as a lost treasure.
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 24 May 2016, 13:46

Absolutely. Even if Dolph wasn't ultimately cast in it, it could have been great. But the projet was too ambitious and too expensive to make for Hadida and Gans back then, so after about 3 years of development (rewriting and rewriting, storyboarding and funding) they ultimately had to drop it.
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby dude hallenbeck on 25 May 2016, 12:08

I can only hope with Netflix and Amazon Prime, some of these movies lost to history finally see the light of day. Especially when they're willing to drop up to $60 million on a film.
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Re: TROOPER (Christophe Gans, 1990-1991) (unproduced)

Postby Jox on 22 Jun 2018, 12:02

RIP Françoise Bonnot, the editor of Jean-Pierre Melville, Costa Gavras and Michael Cimino was set to cut TROOPER...
https://www.criterion.com/current/posts ... -1939-2018
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