Ric Roman Waugh

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Snitch is “inspired by true events.” Which is to say, it centers around a real-life choice mandated by the justice system for prisoners arrested on drug charges: become an informant, or face lengthy jail time. This preface gives the wrong impression though since the characters in this film don’t exactly have real-life counterparts. If they did, well… then they would probably have to be as jacked as Dwayne Johnson. Snitch, directed and co-scripted by former stuntman Ric Roman Waugh, may have cheated somewhat with this veil of supposed truth, but he does succeed in making a consistently entertaining film that certainly delivers with its action sequences and many winning performances from its very strong cast. Unfortunately it also falls short plot-wise, somewhat detracting from its overall action film bravado, and has some pacing issues too thanks to staggered action sequences.

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Ric Roman Waugh

  According to a press release, Ric Roman Waugh (whose latest film, Snitch, hits theaters in early 2013) has been hired by Relativity Media to rewrite and direct a science fiction thriller being called Tipping Point. So what comic book is it based off of? Or dated novel that’s just found a resurgence? Or unpublished manuscript that’s about to hit the Best Seller List? It’s based on nothing. The original work from the brain of newcomer Todd Stein focuses on a future where the population of the planet is groping at 10 billion, and society has taken China’s One-child Policy and run with it — promising death if you procreate without the proper paperwork. All of that’s well and good for one Population Control Officer, until he finds out he’s chasing (with intent to kill) a former lover and his 12-year-old son he didn’t know existed. It’s a great time for original sci-fi, and this sounds like a fascinating concept handed over to a workman director. There’s no denying the Blade Runner by way of Repo Men feel of the thriller aspect, but there’s something graceful about seeing those plots in what’s considered to be a thoroughly modern problem. Waugh has built a strong career as a stuntman, and his transition to writing and directing seems to be going smoothly — picking projects with broad appeal and, so far, doing them with technical skill and little risk. Let’s see if that changes with this new project.

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Snitch Movie

What would you do if your son was facing a ten-year mandatory minimum drug sentence for a crime he swears he didn’t do? You’d probably make a lot of road trips to the prison with cigarette carton gift baskets over the next decade, but if you’re Dwayne Johnson, you kick everyone’s ass and help Susan Sarandon take down a kingpin. The thing to look for in Snitch will be the stunts. The trailer gives a glimpse of 18-wheeler and fist-fighting action, but director Ric Roman Waugh started out doing stunts for flicks like Lethal Weapon 2, Total Recall (1990) and probably close to a hundred others, so it’ll be exciting to see what he pulls out of the ammunition box. Plus, as hard as it is to believe a former wrestler did this, Johnson has emerged as a truly charismatic, aggressive lead who’s shown some real range. He’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch, especially because he’s believable as a badass, so even in what looks like a straightforward action movie with a slightly unbelievable (yet based on true events!) story, he just might make it shine.

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Well, if they can make a found footage horror film about the Chernobyl disaster, why not launch a drama about the 2010 BP oil spill? Deadline reports (via ComingSoon) that Summit Entertainment and Participant Media are currently negotiating with stuntman-turned-director Ric Roman Waugh to helm their film about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, titled Deepwater Horizon, after the massive oil rig that first exploded and then caught fire while drilling on the Macondo Prospect oil field, located off the southeast Louisiana coast. The disaster on the Deepwater then kicked off the oil spill, which was the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, and is considered the second largest environmental disaster in U.S. history (behind the Dust Bowl). Sounds fun, right?

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Bogart and Bacall, Tracy and Hepburn; some Hollywood pairings work so well that they’re iconic, linking the actors in people’s minds so intrinsically that they become just as recognizable as a duo as they are as individuals. It’s looking like a new pair of names could get added to that list; Sarandon and The Rock. That’s because Susan Sarandon is in negotiations to join the already-cast Dwayne Johnson in a new drama called Snitch. Ric Roman Waugh is re-writing a script by Justin Haythe and also directing the film, which is based off a Frontline documentary about a father who agrees to go undercover and take down a high-ranking drug lord in order to get his teenage son’s rather ridiculous 30-year drug sentence cut down to something less soul-crushing. If all goes well, Sarandon will be playing the role of an ambitious attorney who thinks a high profile drug bust could really help out her career. I imagine the stoic Johnson, risking it all for his son, and the sleazy Sarandon, looking to exploit people to boost up her career, will make for some pretty good banter. Hopefully at some point they’re forced to share a hotel bed together and they hang a sheet between them to act as an impenetrable grope-stopping wall. That’s always a classic. [Heat Vision]

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