Vin Diesel’s sci-fi action flick The Machine may have found a director to run the show. Taking a break from reworking already extant movies that don’t need remakes, MGM is in the preliminary talking stages with Tommy Boy director, and frequent Adam Sandler collaborator, Peter Segal.
Diesel, a massive wall of a man, will play “a human-like machine created in secrecy by the Pentagon as the world’s first true ultimate weapon. Two decades after the government halted the project for unknown reasons, a child finds and befriends The Machine.”
That last part brings The Machine into clearer focus. Initially it sounds like another adrenaline-fueled Vin Diesel action joint, but Segal has done almost exclusively comedy. Throw a cute, doe-eyed kid into the mix with a guy who does a lot of “comedy with a heart,” and you’ve got the makings of heartstring tugger.
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess The Machine will be much less of a kickass action film than you initially expect when you hear the words “Vin Diesel” and “ultimate weapon” in quick succession. Here’s where I’m coming from. Consider Segal’s filmography for a second (he made 50 First Dates for cryin’ out loud) then add the fact that the script is written by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, who will also produce. Those two are alums of MTV’s The State, as well as Reno 911! and Night at the Museum among others. Their specialty is the funny, not the high-octane, explosion-fueled mayhem. Not saying they can’t do it, but that’s not normally their comfort zone.
And this won’t be their first rodeo with Diesel. Lennon and Garant penned the 2003 family film/Vin Diesel vehicle The Pacifier (which I maintain to this day is totally good, though no one ever believes me). Diesel played a badass Navy SEAL assigned to protect a bunch of kids, there are problems, problems are overcome, and everyone hugs at the end.
So, will The Machine be a full-tilt actioner or The Pacifier: Part Deux? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I can’t help but imagine a cuddlier Terminator. And we may have to wait a while, at least if Segal ends up involved. Seems he has a lot of irons in the fire. He’s set to produce a live-action adaptation of the anime Bleach, and may direct. And then there are other projects.