If you haven't seen The Villainess yet, stop reading this article and immediately track a copy down.
Korean director Jung Byung-gil's tale of a wronged female assassin is one of the most inventively-filmed action pictures of the last 15 - 20 years, pulling off set pieces that I had to rewind in order to figure out just how the hell they pulled them off (to be frank, I couldn't during a kinetic motorcycle sword fight). The whole thing is a hyper-violent, uber-stylish shot in the arm that action fans should cherish.
Now, Byung-gil is bringing the pain with an extra dose of Gerard Butler, who has recruited the director to helm Afterburn, a passion project the B-Movie superstar has reportedly been trying to get made for years. Based on the Red 5 Comics mini-series of the same name, Afterburn:
"Tells the story of a massive solar flare hitting the Earth and wiping out Europe, Africa, and Asia. But amid the chaos, there’s profit to be made as former oil roughneck Jake (Butler) turns treasure hunter and retrieves valuable items from the burn zone. But along the way, he must face rogue armies, rival treasure hunters, and mutated survivors, as he steadily travels toward France to retrieve the Mona Lisa."
Oh word? Post-apocalyptic Butler sounds like a new flavor I'm willing to indulge (though he's definitely seen the end of the world before in the wild "dragons scorch the planet" romp, Reign of Fire). Butler also apparently wants this film to help launch a franchise, where in future installments his character would seek out England’s Crown Jewels, the Star of India, and China’s Imperial Treasures. Afterburn is written by Matt Johnson (Into the Blue) and is eyeing a Summer '18 production start date.
This is one hell of a time to be alive and a fan of Gerard Butler. Not only are we getting a sequel to the B-Movie barnburner Den of Thieves, Gerry's now showing that he has excellent taste in directors, as well. Don't worry, if you're still not a Butler true believer, I've written a primer to get you up to speed. Along with Scott Adkins, he's one of the best things happening in modern trash cinema.