Bettendorf natives and critical film darlings Scott Beck and Bryan Woods famously turned down Lucasfilm, but their latest flick calls to mind the “Star Wars” tag line, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”
From the writers of the monster horror hit, “A Quiet Place,” the trailer for the new sci-fi thriller “65” dropped this week, generating very positive buzz. It’s been called “Star Wars” meets “Jurassic Park.” (The trailer already has generated 8.7 million views on YouTube.)
Set 65 million years in the past, the film centers on a spacecraft pilot named Mills (Adam Driver) who realizes he and a child, Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), are the only two survivors of a crash on a mysterious planet. The two of them soon find themselves battling dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures as they attempt to return home.
Hitting theaters March 10, 2023, “65” is written and directed by Beck and Woods, who co-wrote the 2018 horror hit “A Quiet Place,” which made $340 million at the worldwide box office on a $17-million budget. The new film counts Beck, Woods, Sam Raimi, Deborah Liebling and Zainab Azizi as producers, while Doug Merrifield, Jason Cloth and Aaron L. Gilbert are executive producers.
According to a recent piece at Indiewire.com, “65” was “the project we wrote when ‘A Quiet Place’ came out and the studio decided it was going to be a franchise and sequel,” Woods explained during a virtual panel at 2020 Nightstream Film Festival, as reported by The Knockturnal.
“We wrote ‘A Quiet Place’ because we were tired of the sequels. The only movies that were being made were sequels and franchises and comic book movies. We wrote this movie in the wake of that.”
Beck added, “It’s one that’s been gestating in our heads for years and years.”
The pair (both 38 and graduates of Bettendorf High and University of Iowa) were not involved in “A Quiet Place Part II.”
Driver (who starred as Ben Solo/Kylo Ren in the “Star Wars” sequels) was their dream leading man for “65” after Woods was “riveted” by Driver’s performance in the HBO series “Girls.”
Beck later returned to his appreciation for Driver’s talent. “From ‘Star Wars’ to Jim Jarmusch films, everything he brings to a movie is so layered,” he said. “It’s so much fun to watch when the camera can just pick up those layers.”
Following the success of “A Quiet Place,” Beck and Woods met with Lucasfilm executives about writing new potential “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” projects.
Woods has said: “We went into Lucasfilm in the wake of A Quiet Place and they wanted to talk to us about Indiana Jones and Star Wars. And we’re like, ‘We wanna talk to you about, what is Star Wars before it was Star Wars?’ You guys have a responsibility to start a new franchise. That’s where our hearts have always been, just trying to create original ideas.”
When pressed on where their Lucasfilm discussions went, Beck said this: “Without giving away too much… it was simply ruminating on if we did an Indiana Jones movie, what would we want to see in Indiana Jones? Or if we did a Star Wars movie, what’s that chapter of the whole universe that we would want to see? So it very much was an open canvas talk. It started going down the line a little bit but, again, as Bryan said, it’s just not our DNA. We would rather create what the next Indiana Jones could be.”
“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” – the fifth film in that blockbuster series – is due to be released June 30, 2023. It’s directed by James Mangold and written by Mangold, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth.
You can watch the trailer for “65” HERE.