Base your movie on a classic Robert Heinlein story and you’ve immediately got our attention. And that’s just what the Spierig Brothers, Michael and Peter, the duo behind the zombie tale Undead and the vampire drama Daybreakers, did with their new time travel thriller Predestination. We’re only a short way out from release, and they’re back with a slick new poster for the film.
Based on Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies,” the basic plot of Predestination sounds similar to a few other notable science fiction movies, most prominently Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report and the Jean-Claude Van Damme joint TimeCop. Ethan Hawke stars, and the cast also includes Sarah Snook, who is getting good marks for the horror flick Jessabelle, and Noah Taylor, who is fantastic in everything from Game of Thrones to Edge of Tomorrow.
Predestination features Hawke as a Temporal Agent, a kind of time travelling cop who bounces through an intricate series of missions to stop killers in the past before they can kill. And of course, the action focuses on his last case, because nothing bad ever happens before your last day on the job, and has him chasing the one criminal he has never been able to catch. Standard cop movie stuff. His search for a mad bomber leads him through the twisting paths of time, where he encounters Snook’s character, who may hold the key to stopping a devastating attack and saving thousands of lives.
While it may not be the most original set up for a time travel film (though Heinlein’s story did first appear in 1958, which definitely makes it a contemporary of Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report”), there is definite potential here, and Predestination sounds like it could be a great deal of pulpy sci-fi fun. I am, however, always wary of a movie that pushes its twist right up front as a marketing gimmick, like “You won’t believe the crazy turn this takes.” That’s a concern, but not a deal breaker as long as they handle it right in the story. We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.
In the meantime, check out the latest trailer, which features Ethan Hawke in old guy makeup.
When they first announced the film, the Spierig Brothers said, “This is one of our favorite short stories for the simple fact that we can confidently say, ‘This is unlike anything you’ve ever read before’… The short is on many sci-fi lists as one of the greatest short stories of all time, and the mother of all time paradox tales.”
Predestination hits theaters and VOD on January 9.