There hasn’t been an elements-versus-humankind blockbuster from a major American studio since the 2017 Gerard Butler vehicle Geostorm. It’s not just a shame for fans of weather-related spectacle, but society has a whole. Considering the escalating climate crisis, now would be a good time to scare the bejesus out of unsuspecting movie audiences with the awesome power of nature (if it hits too close to home... that’s the point).
Thankfully, Twisters is here to shake up the 2024 summer with come classic post-human fury.
Directed by Lee Isaac Chung (the Oscar-nominated Minari), Twisters is the sequel to Twister, which used the state-of-the-art special effects of 1996 to recreate mile-wide F5 tornados, drop Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt into the eye of the storm, and send a few cows flying across screen. Chung’s follow-up follows a new set of storm chasers, and the cast is equally stacked: Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick), Anthony Ramos (Hamilton), Maura Tierney (The Iron Claw), Sasha Lane (How to Blow Up a Pipeline), Kiernan Shipka (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe are all set to launch tiny micro sensors into the cyclones or whatever cutting-edge meteorological tech our heroes will be wielding this time around.
Screenwriter Mark. L. Smith (The Revenant) recently told Collider that the film would not connect in direct ways to the original Twister, but he and Chung set out to take a realistic approach to the catastrophe-driven thriller.
“I talked to so many storm experts, tornado experts, storm chasers, and rode around with some,” Smith said. “Even the tornado season itself, because of climate change, what used to be tornado alley going through a certain stretch. It now extends so further east, and it’s moving across, and the dates are wider, and the numbers are higher, and the storms themselves are more violent. So we did use elements of that just to shine a light on it, as well, the causes and effects of climate change.”
While Chung may seem like an odd choice for Twisters, jumping from a character-driven family drama to a set-piece-driven tentpole, the writer-director has two key factors going for him: the Arkansas-set Minari proved he has a strong sense of midwestern locations and cultural sensibilities, and between features he cut his teeth directing episodes of The Mandalorian and Star Wars: Skeleton Crew. Let the hype begin — I like Geostorm, but I would really like Twisters to hit, please and thank you.
Twisters — which James Cameron styles as “Twister$” — hits theaters July 19.