BEVERLY HILLS, California — Hollywood can be a crazy town sometimes, filled with random coincidences. To the outside world, many repeated themes and similarly named projects look like they’re the work of copycats. But sometimes it’s just bizarre happenstance, as in the case involving Samuel L. Jackson, a “Twilight” star and certain a Marvel comics character.
“I’m actually shooting a thing that’s called — well, right now it’s called ’Death Sport,’ but I think they’re going to change the name of it,” Sam Jackson recently explained to MTV News, referring to an action film with “Twilight” star Kellan Lutz.
But wait a minute — isn’t that movie called “Deathgames” ?
” ’Deathgames,’ yeah,” Jackson laughed. ” ’Deathgames,’ ’Death Sport,’ — it’s a name that’s not gonna last.”
So, who’s at the heart of these silly names? Believe it or not, it’s Nick Fury.
“The original title was ’Fury,’ ” Jackson said of the modern-day gladiator flick. “But they changed that, because they didn’t want people confused with the fact that it might be a story about Nick Fury. So, that [original name] can’t work.”
Although Nick Fury may not be a household name just yet, with “Iron Man 2” about to hit theaters and more than a half-dozen additional Marvel films planned with Jackson in the role, the filmmakers thought their original title might be a bad idea by the time the movie hits theaters next year.
Jackson promised that he won’t get all “Snakes on a Plane” this time over his affection for the original title. In the early days of the “Snakes” buzz, the studio attempted to change that film’s name to the decidedly-generic “Pacific Air Flight 121.” But Jackson’s defiant statements about the evocative title singlehandedly convinced them otherwise.
“I can’t insist on it being ’Fury,’ because there’s already confusion about that,” he explained of this movie, saying that he still wants them to change it from “Deathgames,” “Death Sport” or any other Jean Claude Van Damme-straight-to-video-sounding placeholder. “Hopefully, they’ll find a title that they like.”
Whatever it’s called, Jackson told us he’s eager to start shooting the wild-sounding flick about a man forced to participate in an online gladiator arena for the amusement of Jackson’s overseeing kingpin of cruelty.
“I have not met Kellan yet,” Jackson said. “But it’s gonna be raw and kind of wild.
“It’s very much a cinematic ’Spartacus,’ ” explained Jackson, who will next be seen in the decidedly different drama “Mother and Child” on May 7. “It’s essentially gladiator games online that are very real, and people die.”
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