The box office success of The Lost City earlier this year means one thing – audiences are hungry for Hollywood to start making original romantic comedies again.
But no rom-com works on the strength of its lead couple alone. While crowds may have flocked to see kidnapped author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) get rescued by her himbo cover model (Channing Tatum), the characters around that central partnership transform an action-driven romance into a true ensemble comedy.
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who plays Loretta’s agent Beth Hatten, thinks that the fact no character remains in the background turns The Lost City into something more than the traditional romantic comedy.
She told Zavvi: “Rom-coms are my favourite genre – but I feel like this is a big, pure action movie more than it is a romantic comedy! Filming it was a dream: it was unreasonably hot, but why would I complain when the beach is my backyard?”
Because of the heat, professional stunt performers came in to take over from the actors for several set pieces. However, The Office star Oscar Nunez was adamant that he had to take part in one particularly memorable sequence.
“It’s a rom-com with a lot of stunts, but alas, we weren’t involved in them. But there’s one scene where my character has to jump down off a ship and onto Daniel Radcliffe – I said straight to [directors] Adam and Aaron, ‘please, let me jump on Harry Potter’.
“They let me take the leap, but it was about two steps too high for me, so they had to bring in a stunt guy. I’m not young enough to pull these stunts off any more!”
Directors Adam and Aaron Nee have been elevated to the Hollywood A-list off the back of this project, with the filmmaking brothers now in charge of rebooting the Masters Of The Universe franchise for Netflix.
They attribute the film’s success to an appetite for original films in general, as much as they are both fans of the classic rom-com.
“As much as we love these big superhero movies, and other franchises like that, I think we’re all hungry for an original, non-IP story about characters falling in love and going on adventures”, Adam told Zavvi.
“I think there’s an appetite among audiences for a big original film right now – I know I’m certainly hungry for it. It’s the movie we wanted to see and we’re excited to be the ones who made it.”
“We grew up on movies like Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Romancing The Stone, these big sweeping adventures, so we already had this style of movie ingrained in our DNA”, Aaron added.
“We’re both very excited to be getting the chance to tell a story like this – but we’re especially excited to be taking this genre and throwing a cover model and a romance novelist into it, two people who do not belong on this adventure, just to see what fun comes out of that.”
The brothers were brought onto the project after a friend at Paramount told them they had a script inspired by one of their favourite movies, the aforementioned Romancing The Stone. They took a meeting with Bullock, assuming they’d never get the gig, and the rest was history.
“We come from an indie background, but we’ve been working towards this for our whole lives”, Adam continued. “The job is exactly the same, the only difference is there are more people around – and that’s a lot of people to convince of your vision on a daily basis.
“Luckily, we had the most amazing partners to make this possible. I only really got nervous about the size of this project when somebody read me the cast list back!”
Now that it’s arrived on home entertainment, more people will be able to take a trip to The Lost City and prepare themselves for the resurgence of original big screen adventures.