We Are Mortals casting picks up

Posted by CB Droege

Warner Bros. has kicked off secondary casting for We Are Mortals, signaling that the development phase may be nearing its end.

The star of the adaptation of the popular Japanese novel, All You Need is Kill has been locked in for some time, with the studio even making the decision to retool the script a bit to make it work for Tom Cruise’s age after he signed on.

That was nearly five months ago, and there hasn’t been all that much news since, other than the announcement that the film’s title would be altered from the novel - though THR seems to be under the impression that the title has, in fact, reverted.

Now we have news that talks have begun with Emily Blunt to play the female lead: a character known as Valkyre One - renamed from the novel’s ‘Bitch of War’, which doesn’t translate well into English due to the pejorative meanings for "bitch."

Blunt has been quite busy lately, taking the female lead in Looper opposite Jopseph Gordon-Levitt as well as several non-genre projects. She doesn’t have the part yet, but even if the talks with Blunt fall through, the seeking of an actress for the part is a sign of progress on the film.

All You Need is Kill was nominated for several awards in Japan. It represents the breakthrough in the career of Hiroshi Sakurazaka, though the story is mostly derivative. The tale is sort of a cross between Starship Troopers and Groundhog Day - neither of which are highly original themselves.

Essentially, the synopsis is thus: A young man named Keiji joins the United Defense Force to combat an extraterrestrial threat called the Mimics. In his very first encounter, Keiji is killed and wakes up on the morning before the battle. Each day he tries again to survive the battle, learning and, evolving as a highly-trained soldier with each run-through, hoping that, eventually, he will be competent enough to survive. Bitch of War is a master soldier who only appears to him in the battle on his 158th run through. Seeing her, he knows that she’s the key to his escape, somehow, whether it’s from survival or the release of death.

No official synopsis for the film has been released yet.

The adaptation was penned by up-and-coming Dante Harper, who is also working on a Timothy McVeigh biopic called Dreamland (which is in production), an adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation, an action adaptation of Hansel & Gretel, and Paramount's Black Hole - which seems like a lot of projects at once for an untested writer, but I guess we’ll know how good he is pretty soon.

No production or release dates have yet been announced for We are Mortals.