SAN DIEGO — It would seem to be a recipe concocted for maximum fanboy accessibility: Take a dash of “X-Men,” a pinch of “Heroes,” and a heaping helping of “The Matrix.” Mix liberally with some old-school “Firestarter,” and top it off with a sampling of “The Fantastic Four,” just for flavor. Throw in fan favorites like Djimon Hounsou (“Never Back Down”), Chris Evans (“Sunshine”“Sunshine”), Camilla Belle (“10,000 B.C.”) and Dakota Fanning; stick it all in a blender and hit “puree.”
By the time you’re finished, you’ve got “Push,” an upcoming film from promising “Lucky Number Slevin” filmmaker Paul McGuigan. And with any luck, the February 6 sci-fi thriller will turn out to be one tasty dish.
“I would say it’s a lot like ’X-Men,’ although there’s some ’Matrix’ as well,” Hounsou said of the film, which follows a group of young government escapees on the run from a secret agency that wants to exploit their telekinetic and clairvoyant powers. “The ’pusher’ has the ability to alter your mind and change your thinking, or certainly predict what you’re about to do in the near future, without you even knowing ahead of time.”
“It’s kind of in the vein of that show ’Heroes,’ ” Evans said of the script, written by relative newcomer David Bourla. “It’s a group of individuals who have certain powers. They’re either on the run or in hiding from this branch of the government called Division that wants to capture these people and get their power for warfare.”
The cast recently hit Comic-Con to unveil an impressive peek for the thousands of fans who were willing to keep their minds open mere minutes before the “Twilight” panel began . There are definitely some behind-the-scenes people hoping that the sci-fi similarities between the two franchises — they’re both put out by Summit Entertainment — will bring an audience to “Push.”
Also like “Twilight,” the origins of the characters in “Push” date back multiple decades: Their impressive powers are the results of Nazi scientists’ attempts to create super soldiers.
“I play the character of a government agent who is the head of Division,” Hounsou revealed. “[My character] has powers also, and is a pusher as well. … And so I hunt these people down and enhance their abilities to see the future, whatever it is. And I want to turn all of them into real soldiers.”
You can look forward to a mix of the familiar and the innovative when the film hits theaters next year. You can look forward to some impressive special effects and a very different, more action-star-like performance by the now 14-year-old Dakota Fanning. But don’t expect the characters to be so badass that they could take down, say, Mr. Fantastic and the Thing.
“Oh, good question,” the unflinchingly honest Evans, the former Johnny Storm, grinned when we asked him how the “Push” heroes would fare in a battle against the last superhero group he was associated with.
“I’m going ’Fantastic Four,’ ” he winced. “I’ve got to.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Push.”
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