McG Name Checks ‘Die Hard’ and Ryan Gosling While Announcing ‘Puzzle Palace’


McG’s latest film, the spy thriller/romantic comedy This Means War, just hit theaters this week, and, so far, I haven’t really talked to anybody who likes it. That’s pretty par for course at this point though, because it’s rare that I talk to anyone who likes any of McG’s movies. Despite that fact, the guy must be making somebody somewhere some money, because he keeps on getting new jobs.

Speaking of which, McG recently talked to The Playlist about what he’s going to be doing next. First off, he described his new project, Puzzle Palace, as a “thriller” that is “tonally similar to Die Hard,” and then went on to give a more lengthy plot synopsis by adding that the film is about, “A kid who has to clear his father’s name by breaking into One Police Plaza in New York, which is the most secure building imaginable in a post-9/11 world. It’s a smaller picture, it’s designed for a [Ryan] Gosling [type actor]. It’s not as small and antithetical as Drive, but it’s not a big giant over-the-top action picture, it’s meant to be a fun, intelligent action character study.” If it manages to be either fun or intelligent, then it will be a huge break from the stupid, visually frustrating things that McG’s done so far; so I’m excited to hear him say that he’s planning on branching out.

All snark aside, if McG is going to continue to make movies that will getting released in the multiplexes, it’s good to at least hear him talking about doing things that he finds interesting. I’d rather feel that I was watching a movie that somebody tried, and maybe failed, to make intelligent and fun than a movie that is just cynically attempting to churn out what is most likely to pop a big number on opening weekend. Maybe this will be the project where McG stops shouting and ends up finding his voice.

Still though, if he actually gets Gosling to waste time on this I’m going to be pretty disappointed.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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