The more I hear about “Black Water Transit”, the more I’m convinced it’s DOA. Bruce Willis had been working to bring the crime novel by Carsten Stroud to the big screen for a while now, and his departure marks a decidedly bleak outlook for the picture, which is scheduled to start production later this week with an entirely new cast and crew. Originally, Willis was supposed to star with Samuel L. Jackson, marking the duo’s re-teaming since “Die Hard With a Vengeance”. Now, it appears that Willis and Jackson are gone, and Laurence Fishburne and Karl Urban are in.
The film is about a shipping company owner who tries to get his junkie son freed from prison by helping the feds entrap a criminal smuggling into guns out of the country. Willis was supposed to play the criminal, and it seems Urban will now replace him in the role. Likewise, Fisburne will be taking up the role of the shipping company — at least, if the racial make-up of the characters remain in play from the original cast.
Original music video director Samuel Bayer is also off the project, and Tony Kaye (“American History X”) has taken over directing chores.
Reasons for the new cast would seem to be simply “moving on” on Willis’ part, while Jackson’s “people” claims the actor had hurt his back, so couldn’t do the job anymore.
To be honest with you, I’m not even sure why the producers are still going through with production. This looks like it’s dead in the water, with a brief spring release (if that) and a quick launch to DVD. Without Willis and Jackson, the premise isn’t nearly intriguing enough to court an audience.