Rollerball Or RollerDirectlyToDvd?

Back in August, we ran the following as part of a story about the delay of the film…

We here at FilmJerk have been rough on MGM for a lack of vision. This (delay) is a good step in the right direction. It’s better to take your time and miss a release date in hopes the final product can become better than people expected. Frankly, when I first heard about the remake of Rollerball, I thought “What a fucking waste of time and money”. If you’re going to remake something, you remake something no one remembers because it came out sixty years ago and was a collosal bomb. You don’t remake a cult classic from Norman Jewison, and you don’t fucking replace James Caan, one of the baddest motherfuckers in the last great age of cinema, with someone as white bread as Chris Klein…

Mr. X… You remember him, don’t your… Mr. X was the guy who gave us the scoop about the ending of Planet of the Apes a good month before anyone else had it… Mr. X contacted me about the latest behind the scenes of John McTiernan’s remake of Norman Jewison’s not quite classic…

About 70% of the film is being re-editing in the hopes to make it release worthy. If the latest efforts at dressing it up in CGI fail, it’s going direct to video. MGM is quietly stressing because the extra editing and CGI work are threatening to drive the cost of the film to over 90 million. They’re totally up the creek here because they can’t afford to NOT release it, but they also can’t afford another high profile expensive bomb.

The singer Pink is in the movie as a dominatrix… rather, she was in the movie, before her part was whittled down to next to nothing. Her performance had McTiernan foaming at the mouth, but not in the way he had hoped. Her attempts at being a thespian left him quite frustrated, so that’s pretty much gone, not that her role was really necessary in the first place.

Yes, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’ nude scene is long long gone, and she’s been called back one more time to loop some of her lines. She is in zero danger of stumbling into Oscar territory next year.

And then there are the street luge scenes. There are a couple of them in the film. Either McTiernan or someone who has his ear had this great brainstorm… let’s take the longest street luge sequence in the middle of the film, make it day for night and have the sequence shown entirely in infrared and night vision green! As it was, it was overlong and almost impossible to watch that part of the movie. But add this stuff in and it derails the entire viewing experience because the movie goes from high tech color and FX to this monotone coloring and then back again. Word has it the release of The Fast and Furious spooked the shit out of them and
is the real reason for the film’s delay. The beancounters at MGM didn’t expect F&F to gross that well and apparently some of the street race sequences in that movie make Rollerball‘s stuff look all the more inept and lame.

Publicly, MGM is claiming they are thrilled with the movie, but all the behind the scenes junk indicates that all is far from well behind the office doors. At present, MGM will dump it off February 8th if McTiernan can pull this out of his rear. But he already has an extra four months in the editing room and the film is still in bad shape.