Meet Simon Crane. He's got huge balls. Obviously, we're not talking about actual testicular size per se - you could have a rhinoceros penis and elephant nards for all I know. No, we're talking about nerves of steel.
And he's got 'em.
Crane has signed on to helm the big screen version of the Kane & Lynch film. While this might be his feature film directing debut, he's got stuntman experience out the whazoo.
After getting his big break as a stunt man on the 1985 Bond film A View to a Kill, he worked his way up to Timothy Dalton's stunt double in licence to Kill - and in the meantime cutting his teeth doing stunts for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Willow and Aliens. The British-born Crane would go on to double for Mel Gibson in Air America and for Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
But it was in the 1993 Sylvester Stallone film Cliffhanger that Simon Crane executed the most expensive stunt ever: It cost a reported $US1 million dollars to have him do the air-to-air transfer stunt, one of the film's centrepieces. As website IMDB points out, the stunt was filmed in the USA, because such a stunt is illegal in Europe. Crane was suspended on a rope 4500m up between two planes - and without any safety devices! The film's insurance company would not underwrite the stunt. Stallone offered to take a reduce fee for appearing in the film so that it would be possible to execute the stunt.
The stunt itself made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most expensive aerial stunt ever performed. It was performed only once - and successfully.
Crane went on to do stunts and act as stunt coordinator for a variety of films, including GoldenEye, Titanic and Saving Private Ryan. He also worked his way up to second unit director on a variety of films.
While he is not stranger to video game movies (he was the stunt coordinator for the Lara Croft films), he just might be able to pull off the Kane & Lynch film version. There have a been a couple of choices regarding that movie that seem very smart - such as bringing in Jamie Foxx, instead of finding an actor that looks exactly like the in-game counterpart.
The film's ad campaign also looks smart. During the late 1990s, Miramax films pretty much destroyed the art of movie posters. Horror flick Scream and its sequels were smash hits, and the posters featured a collage of actor's headshots. (The original one-sheet poster for the first Scream was okay!)
The perceived marketing success of Scream lead to Miramax ditching this hand-painted Jackie Brown poster...
...and go with this boring Scream-style one instead. While this is an awful scan of the painted Jackie Brown poster, the actual work itself is stunning. Unfortunately, during the late 1990s, many of Miramax's posters were in that Scream-style.
The cool thing about the Kane & Lynch teaser poster is that, design-wise, it is a striking image. Moreover, it doesn't rely on a Scream-style movie star headshot to build excitement. Granted, this might change as the publicity machine kicks into high gear.
While it's possible that none of these decisions were made by Crane, there is still something to be said about a middle aged guy who has worked his way up the studio ladder by putting his life on the line day in and day out.