Bill Paxton has had a career for the ages. He’s taken multiple beatings at the hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he’s played cowboy with Kurt Russell, played astronaut with Tom Hanks, and even fought off aliens with Sigourney Weaver. One thing he’s never gotten a chance to do is share scenes with fellow superstar Tom Cruise, though, so the actor has decided to go back to his alien killing ways in order to make that happen.
Variety is reporting that Paxton is in negotiations to become the latest name to join director Doug Liman’s (The Bourne Identity) upcoming, Japanese graphic novel adapted feature, All You Need is Kill. The basic story here is a kind of mix between Starship Troopers and Source Code, in that Cruise is playing a soldier in a war against aliens who keeps reliving the day he’s killed over and over again. As time keeps looping, and as Cruise keeps re-experiencing his death, he slowly learns from his mistakes and becomes a better soldier. It’s like if you gave Bill Murray’s character from Groundhog Day a big gun and told him to focus on fending off an alien invasion instead of buying Michael Shannon tickets to Wrestlemania.
Joining Cruise in his crusade to kill the invaders is the already cast Emily Blunt—who presumably will be playing a much younger, much prettier soldier in the same platoon—and perhaps Paxton, who is reported to be eying the role of the duo’s grizzled commander.
Now, I think we can all agree that Paxton has traditionally been at his best when playing the sniveling weasel, or the loose cannon who can’t keep his shit together and eventually wigs out, but he’s starting to get up there in age and he’s looking like somebody who can finally project an air of authority. It will be an interesting test of his chops to see if he can stand next to a big presence like Cruise and still come off as being the guy who’s in charge. Do you think he has it in him? Or is he forever going to be the guy who yells, “Game over, man! Game over?”