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Thursday, July 24, 2014

'Knight and Day': What part does Wichita play?

We know only this for sure — the movie formerly known as "Wichita" is no longer called "Wichita."

But how much Wichita the city will play into "Knight and Day," the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz action thriller that was almost named after the ICT, may remain a mystery until the movie opens on Wednesday.

"Knight and Day" has been in the works for years and has been through so many possible stars, directors, titles and concepts that the New York Times earlier this year published a story about the film, using it as an example of what happens when projects get stuck in "development hell."

Rewrite after recasting after reworking later, the film is called "Knight and Day," and it stars Cruise as a rogue spy who gets tangled up with Diaz's character and forces her on a bullet-riddled but nonetheless comedic survival adventure across the globe.

The trailers, which make the film look pretty entertaining, have become popular on the Internet, and critics are saying the movie may signal Cruise's return to blockbuster star status.

But what about Wichita?

Last fall, the movie makers already had abandoned the title "Wichita" and had started referring to the film as "Untitled Wichita Project."

But they were still planning some sort of Wichita angle, to the point that props people requested copies of The Wichita Eagle and the Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau's visitor guide.

I placed calls to New York and Los Angeles, asking for details on how Wichita fared in the final cut, but did not hear back from Fox Movies publicists.

But the Internet Movie Database, a clearinghouse of film information, does include a few hints that Wichita might play some part in "Knight and Day." In the cast credits, two actors are listed as playing "Wichita Airport Travelers."

Early reports hinted that Diaz's initially naive character would be from the Midwest, probably Wichita, though there's no indication any filming actually took place here.

Last fall, Nu-Tek, an Augusta business that repairs aircraft instruments, reported that it had been hired to create a glass cockpit and interactive panel with lights to look like a working cockpit.

Trailers for the movie online show several airport scenes and one particularly violent showdown inside an airplane. In one scene, presumably after the plane crashes, Diaz and Cruise are hunched down in a corn field.

One thing I wondered while watching the trailers, though, was how the movie ever could have been called "Wichita" because it's pretty clear that if Wichita is involved in the plot, it's only very tangentially.

Of course, the previews also don't offer much evidence of what the heck "Knight and Day" might mean, either.

It'll always be "Wichita" to me.

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