Alasdair Stuart disagrees with Brendon Connelly's appraisal of Joe Johnston for Bleeding Cool.
I've been a fan of Joe Johnston's work since The Rocketeer made me want to strap a jet pack on and fight Nazis to win Jennifer Connelly's heart. He's got a lightness of touch and has always been adept at couching action in terms of the extremely fragile people caught up in it. It's one of the things that made Captain America such a breath of fresh air – that very real sense that for all his abilities, this was a hero in very real danger. Johnston excels at this approach.
Which is why I'm excited for Not Safe For Work, his new production. The script, by British writers Adam Mason and Simon Boyes follows a paralegal trapped in his office block with a killer intent on destroying everything linked to one particular case. Think of it as Collateral minus the LA romanticism, or Die Hard but with Max Minghella from The Social Network in the lead and you in might be in the right ballpark.
Interestingly, Johnston is casting relative unknowns, including a Captain America alum. Among them, according to Variety will be JJ Feild, who played Union Jack in Captain America. Feild may not have had a major role in Cap but he has also done interesting work in Centurion and Third Star.
Elsewhere in the cast: Minghella always does good work and is a great fit for 'terrified Corporate bunny in headlights' and other new recruits Tom Gallop and Christian Clemenson are excellent character actors, and, in Clemenson's case, also an Emmy-Award winner.
All in all this seems to be shaping up as tight, nasty, fun little high concept thriller and we don't get nearly enough of them.
I expect it's going to get brutal. My money's on Minghella. Paralegals are scrappy when they're cornered.