The last time we checked, Universal wasn’t the most popular or successful studio in Hollywood. Over the past few years they’ve had more than a fair share of bombs, but that’s not stopping them from taking risks. According to Deadline, the studio has emerged as a financier for the Kate Beckinsale, Mark Walhberg film Contraband, the American remake of the 2008 Icelandic feature Reykjavic-Rotterdam.
In the original version of the film, it centered on a security guard and former alcohol smuggler on the Iceland-Netherlands route who is tempted back into illicit business by a dubious friend after the security guard encounters financial problems. Contraband has been bouncing from Universal, to Working Title, to Relativity Media before ultimately ending up at Universal.
The budget is set at a modest $30 million with Wahlberg and Beckinsale in the package. Contraband will be directed by Baltasar Kormakur, but we’re awaiting info on when production will officially start. Even though we’re happy that the film has found a home, we’re not sure if Universal is the best place for it to be. How will they market the film? Do they expect it to bring in a large commercial audience? These questions need answers.
What do you think of Universal taking on Contraband? Do you think that’s the best move for the studio?