Friday, February 6, 2009

Hayden Christensen, Doug Liman, Jumper 2

Jumper Sequel In Development - It may not be his next directing job, but Doug Liman is quick to let people know that Jumper 2 is definitely in the works.

Speaking to Craveonline last November about his new producing gig on Knight Rider, he was asked if Jumper was on the list of projects he'll be working on in the future.

"That's definitely something in the works but it wouldn’t be my next directorial assignment", said the director who is currently deciding his next project.

The director of 2008's Jumper took movie goers on a whirlwind ride around the globle in the story about a young man (Hayden Christensen) who finds he has the power to jump anywhere, anytime. The movie's subject about someone with the power to teleport is thoroughly fascinating and imaginative. Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell and Samuel L. Jackson have reportedly already signed on for the sequel currently in development. There is a projected April 27, 2010 start date for filming on Jumper 2.

Doug Liman has some definite ideas about where a Jumper sequel might go.

"I'm very interested in using films as Trojan Horses, and mass media for Trojan Horses..."

Liman describes the work he is interested in as a director as more subversive than the traditional stories. It seems a risky concept but more often than not it has succeeded in Liman's films.

"So I'm interested in the Jumper sequel as a way to maybe introduce time travel and explore history in a way that you could get a mass audience in and maybe they'd learn about World War II, they'd learn about the Cold War which was something I was lucky enough to live through and the average moviegoer today doesn't even understand what it was like to go behind an iron curtain."

While answering questions about a possible Jumper Director's cut, Liman reveals one story shocker.....

A Doug Liman director's cut of Jumper would reveal some alternate story situations. There were scenes filmed that were never used because they had Hayden Christensen's character going in a different direction than the final theatrical version.

"I definitely have material where he [Hayden Christensen] actually leaves the finale. He's incredibly unheroic. He actually leaves. He has the ability to teleport. He just abandons Rachel Bilson and goes."

Still one has to wonder how a movie without a clear cut hero could succeed even in a world of movies where heroes are usually somewhat flawed. Times have changed. In the 40's and 50's Superman's Clark Kent had a normal upbringing being adopted by the perfect parents. Jumper's David, who grows up in the 90's and is a runaway, has a more cold and harsh reality. He is a product of his environment, left unguided you can understand if he strays from the straight and narrow path from time to time. Steven Gould's books set that up nicely.

In the novels, Steven Gould writes David as having some redeemable qualities as well. For instance Davy is empathetic to the homeless since he was once homeless as a runaway. He secretly gives away his coat or money (albeit stolen money) to street people because he knows what it's like to be mugged, have no money or home. He's somewhat compassionate even as he continues his quest for revenge against those who hurt him. He becomes the accidental hero while exacting his revenge when he has to make a decision to help others in the process or leave innocent bystanders in danger.

Times may have changed and how heroes are born may have changed but we still hope for them all the time.

What might we hope for in a Jumper sequel? We have a protagonist who had no great shakes of a family life and only that internal mechanism called a conscience to guide him. Unless David is a complete sociopath, the audience may still hope he finally comes to the right conclusions about love, honor and integrity even if he has to go through hell to get there. Maybe that's where the real story lies.

As played by Hayden Christensen, David is anything but a sociopath. He doesn't want to be the bad guy but makes a lot of bad choices. Millie becomes his anchor and his conscience and it is because of her he strives to be better. She not only becomes the heart of the story but the rock. That makes David an underdog that we can root for and care about in a story where Millie and David eventually become the team they progress to in the Jumper novels. With David also having to deal with additional characters like Griffin (Jamie Bell) and Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) added to the mix, there would seem to be some great story possibilities for Jumper 2.

Jumper 2 expected to be released sometime in 2011.

For the latest news about Hayden Christensen visit Hayden Christensen Fan News