Hannibal Lecter plays a psychic doctor, stopping at nothing to prevent a religious Colin Farrell from outmaneuvering the FBI in the world's weirdest game of chess. Wait, what? No, this isn't a Family Guy pitch for ludicrous films, this is Solace, the unofficial sequel to 1995's Se7en. So, why over two decades later are we resurrecting a film from the Brad Pitts of development hell? Check out the trailer for 2016's Solace below:
There was a time when David Fincher's seminal thriller Se7en was heralded as one of the best films out there. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman teaming up to stop a killer whose motive is based on the Seven Deadly Sins. A supporting cast of Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey, imaginative deaths, and that infamous "What's in the box?" scene, it is no surprise that a sequel was long talked about. Flash forward and flying under the radar is Solace, the Se7en sequel that no one even asked for. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, it couldn't be further from Fincher's vision if it tried.
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Apart from looking like the punny cash-in title of a Saw or Final Destination film, the sequel (Ei8ht) had no need to be made. Look at Se7en's four main characters: one had their head in a box, another was shot in the head, one was presumably arrested, and the last was close to retirement anyway. It was then a strange state of affairs when in 2002 New Line Cinema accepted a screenplay from Ocean's Eleven writer Ted Griffin for a film titled Solace, about a psychic detective who stopped an (also) psychic serial killer. Clearly the studio liked the idea, but re-wrote the screenplay as a direct sequel to Se7en, imaginatively titled Ei8ht. Ei8ht replaced Griffin's protagonist from the Solace script with Freeman's Det. William Somerset from Se7en, but Ei8ht never came to be and Solace was reborn under its original name some 14 years later.
Where the idea of having Solace as a sequel to Se7en derailed was the introduction of supernatural powers. The protagonist in the script was a detective who helped the FBI track a serial killer by using his psychic powers. This may have transferred through to 2016's incarnation of Solace, with Anthony Hopkins as Doctor John Clancy, but we just can't see it working with a sequel to Se7en. The only scenario I can imagine is that perhaps after the bloodbath of the Se7en finale Somerset developed psychic powers, but even then it sounds god-awful.
Diggin' Up The Past
Back in 2009 Fincher promised us there would be no official sequel to Se7en, which was a bit of a blow to fans of Mills and Somerset, but probably for the best. When asked about the long-mooted sequel in a Q&A, Fincher responded:
"I would have less interest in that than I would in having cigarettes put out in my eyes."
Yet, here in 2016, we find ourselves staring down the barrel of what was once the sequel to Se7en. While it is officially NOT a sequel to Fincher's film, and he has no involvement, it is hard to shake the feel of 1995 from the trailer. From the glossy death scenes, to the strained character relationships, and a brooding Colin Farrell replacing Spacey, we can only imagine what would have happened if the project had gone ahead as a real Se7en sequel. You can bet that they would have lured Spacey back to haunt the detectives via ghostly CGI.
As for Fincher, take no notice, the director is notoriously hard on his own films. He completely shunned Alien 3 after its release (we can't blame you for that one), and still says that there are scenes in both Se7en and his other masterpiece, Fight Club, that make his skin crawl. However, we have to agree with him on this one. Whereas Solace looks like an OK film on its own merits, it should do whatever it can to distance itself from any idea that it is a Se7en sequel.
Perhaps it is for the best though that Solace is made, at least it takes away any notion of that Se7en sequel off the table. In the wrong hands, who knows what would happen with a recast and rebooted Ei8ght — possibly Donald Glover playing a young Morgan Freeman, and Shiloh Pitt as the unborn child of Gwyneth and Brad. Just like John Doe himself, that idea should remain dead and buried along with Beetlejuice 2 and ET: Nocturnal Fears.
We will probably never get a Se7en sequel, but Afonso Poyart's (non-Se7en) film Solace will be released on December 16.
Check out the iconic "head" scene from Se7en and sound off in our poll below.
Do you think there should be a sequel to 'Se7en'?
[Source: Cinemablend ]