We get sent plenty of press releases, and there just isn’t time in a day to run them all, but the day I can’t find time to run news about Werner Herzog making a movie with Michael Shannon (again)… well, that’d have to be a busy fuckin’ day, and not too much fun at all.
This story, based on material by Tom Bissell (co-author of The Disaster Artist, maybe not for nothing) looks like the closest thing we’ll ever get to a 1970s-style disaster movie from Herzog, although that genre used to be a lot more fun, because back then our planet wasn’t as close to real-deal destruction. Herzog is a filmmaker with a killer deadpan (just last week we ran a piece about how much of a kick his version of BAD LIEUTENANT was), but I don’t think he’s joking when he talks about this environmental stuff. Then again, how would we necessarily be able to tell? He apparently appears in the movie, along with Shannon and Gael García Bernal, a third guy with solid deadpanning skills. I rewatched CASA DE MI PADRE last week and that movie is way underrated, but that’s a conversation for another time.
Anyway, SALT AND FIRE. It’s not a comedy, despite my blathering up until this moment.
LOS ANGELES (September 8, 2016) – In advance of its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, XLrator Media has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Academy Award® nominee Werner Herzog’s SALT AND FIRE starring Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon (REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, Boardwalk Empire), Veronica Ferres (Hector and the Search For Happiness) and Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle). XLrator Media will release the film in theaters in Spring 2017.
Written and directed by Werner Herzog inspired by a story by Tom Bissell, SALT AND FIRE tells the story of a corporate CEO and a group of scientists who must band together despite their ideological differences to try to avoid a looming environmental catastrophe. The film was shot in Bolivia at the stunning Uyuni salt flats (the world’s largest) and Germany. The film was produced by Nina Maag, Werner Herzog, Michael Benaroya and Pablo Cruz.
At age 74, German filmmaker Herzog is one of cinema’s masters, known for both his bold narratives (Aguirre: Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo) and poignant documentaries (Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams). His latest documentaries, Lo and Behold: Reveries From the Connected World about the Internet and Into The Inferno about volcanoes, premiered at this year’s Sundance and Telluride Film Festivals, respectively, and he is teaching filmmaking through the online platform Masterclass.
“In a career spanning six decades, Werner Herzog has dazzled and challenged audiences with his unique cinematic vision. We’re honored to bring audiences his thought-provoking and very timely environmental thriller with the remarkable cast of Michael Shannon, Gael Garcia Bernal and Veronica Ferres,” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon.
The deal was negotiated by XLrator Media’s Barry Gordon and Lea Flome with Creative Artists Agency on behalf of the filmmakers.
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