Irish co-directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger will shortly unveil Lockout, one of the most anticipated sci-fi action films of the year, and if Irish directors aren't known for space operas that's all to the good - the new film promises to surpass the usual guns and robots fare.
According to Spinoff, the action begins when the U.S. President’s daughter Emilie is kidnapped by inmates of a maximum-security prison that's orbiting the Earth. The call goes out to Agent Snow (played by Guy Pearce) the witty and at all times cool space cop. Snow and Emilie must escape the floating prison before the military blow it to pieces.
Co-stars Maggie Grace and Peter Stormare told reporters that far from being a chilly lost in space caper, the script possessed a rare degree of humor that easily made its way onto the set. Working with Guy Pearce, the film's action hero, was another draw too.
'We were on location in Serbia for Thanksgiving, so I brought my family out, and of course the first day on set I forgot they were there and we were shooting a gag where I end up in a compromising position with my head in Pearce’s lap,' Grace, who plays the president's daughter Maggie, told the press. 'That was the day my mom visited set!'
Grace also enjoyed working with her co-star: 'Guy’s great, he’s wildly intelligent and has that Aussie sense of humor,' she said. 'I adored him.'
As for the script, what she enjoyed most about Lockout was the banter. 'It doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you’re looking for a message-oriented film, this would not be it!' she laughed. 'It’s unabashed and unapologetically a fun ride. It’s a sci-fi adventure, but with these sharp one-liners and this throwback archetype of a hero who’s funny and got some edge, and you don’t know whether to smack him or kiss him.'
The hardest part of the shoot turned out to be moving in the spacesuits.
'We had really heavy space suits,' Grace recalls. 'We were so excited because they were really kick-ass spacesuits. They’re not like astronaut suits — it was more like being an action figure. They’re heavy and yellow and they have these built-out chests. It’s incredible. Then we get in the suits and realize we didn’t really test out the mobility.'
'Guy and I start running and we’re like two tin cans swaying back and forth in a really un-athletic way. The suits were so heavy and so unwieldy they had to CG in our legs!' she laughed.
Grace also appears in the hotly anticipated The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, reprising the role of Kim, but this time she's a little more badass.
'She doesn’t suddenly become Femme Nikita, that would be unreasonable,' Grace said. 'She’s still a young woman but, yes, she’s drawn into taking more of an active role because her parents are abducted, so she has to help them.'
One early review of Lockout has been uneven, with AccessAtlanta giving it two out of four stars. The CGI in particular came in for some heat: 'The cheap visual effects are so bad that you'll be wondering if you misplaced your 3-D glasses,' the reviewer scoffs. 'But, no, the digital backgrounds of some scenes really are that undefined, the kind of work video game makers would scoff at.'