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Poseidon - Preview

Josh Lucas in Poseidon

Preview by Jack Foley

WOLFGANG Petersen is no stranger to directing sea-based movies, following the success of Das Boot and The Perfect Storm.

So who better to revisit classic ‘70s disaster movie, The Poseidon Adventure, than him?

Due for UK release in early summer, the film once again follows the fortunes of the passengers of a luxury cruise ship which is capsized by a rogue wave in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Eve.

Josh Lucas (of Stealth fame) heads the cast as career gambler John Dylan who opts to ignore the orders of the ship’s captain (Andre Braugher) to wait below for possible rescue and sets out with a small group of survivors to find his own way to safety.

Joining him is a desperate father and former fireman-mayor (Kurt Russell) searching for his daughter (Emmy Rossum) and her fiance (Mike Vogel); a single mother (Jacinda Barrett) and her son (Jimmy Bennett), an anxious stowaway (Mia Maestro) and a despondent fellow passenger (Richard Dreyfuss).

Needless to say, the upturned ship poses many obstacles, including random fires, underwater challenges and the odd fatal trap.

The original film became one of the biggest and best-known disaster films of the Seventies and boasted a top-notch cast including Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons and the late Shelley Winters (who was Oscar-nominated for her role as a former swimmer).

The producers will be hoping that Petersen has comprised all of the ingredients needed to make the remake another box office hit.

With a plot rumoured to be in the region of $140 million and a trailer suggesting some quality special effects (the wave looks particularly impressive), it’s a safe bet to assume that audiences will enjoy being trapped with the survivors once again.

And Petersen himself felt drawn to the material, having always been impressed with the premise of people finding themselves trapped in a confined space.

“We Germans like the drama and the tragedy of it all,” he told Premiere magazine.

The actors, too, have sweated blood (sometimes literally) for the project, with several suffering war wounds along the way.

Barrett, for instance, was injured when her leg was cut by a propellor blade. And Lucas got sick five times, injured his wrist and required four stitches to an injury on his head.

He commented: “It’s not an ‘adventure’. It’s a very tough story with people dying.”

Hence the reason to drop the ‘adventure’ from the title.