Paws: Lukas Rinker directing killer polar bear movie

Lukas Rinker is directing Paws, a killer polar bear movie where the creature is brought to life with animatronics rather than CGI

Writer/director Lukas Rinker made his feature debut with the comedic thriller Holy Shit! last year, and now he’s reteaming with his Holy Shit! collaborators Neopol Film and The Playmaker for the eco-horror movie Paws, about a killer polar bear! Variety reports that producers Tonio Kellner, Andrea Simml, and Jakob Zapf will be pitching Paws at Frontières, “a market and networking platform focused on genre film financing and co-production between Europe and North America”, next month. Loredana Rehekampff and Andreas Schmied are co-producing the project for Samsara Filmproduction.

Paws will tell the story of young scientist Nook, who’s on board a research ship in the Arctic. Reformed oil billionaire Fox is funding the crews’ efforts to fight climate change. Just when Nook learns that Fox’s interest is not so much in saving the planet but exploring and claiming fresh oil fields, their ship crashes. The crew search an abandoned Russian ghost-ship looking for a radio, but uncover a horrific threat: Inside the rusty trawler a monstrous polar bear mother has been trapped with her cub. Not only will the animal defend her nest but has grown very hungry and will seize the opportunity to feed on the survivors. Meanwhile, Fox begins to drill for oil and sees Nook as a threat to his business. Nook radios for help, but only a squad of Russian mercenaries return her call, and they are also interested in the oil.

Rinker had this to say about the project: “The eternal darkness of the polar night and alien-esque qualities of the Arctic landscape inspired me, and led me to believe that there’s a thrilling story there, and an affordable movie to be made. The polar bear – the largest terrestrial predator on Earth – comes to mind as the natural monster to roam this setting, but it also is a perfect fit for my agenda – to condemn the never-ending destruction of nature. And have the people responsible eaten. I love genre and I love horror. Being trapped on an ice-field with no help in sight, freezing temperatures and a looming hungry monster – seemed very horrifying to me. And from the bear’s perspective, having your habitat exploited and melted away, with nothing you can do against those greedy intruders, is horrific. Then there’s the climate angle. Horror all around! Also, I believe horror can deliver one of the best audience experiences to have in a cinema.

Kellner added: “At Neopol Film, we just love Lukas’ writing, which is quite precise, emotionally to the point, and absolutely entertaining. While directing his script Holy Shit!, Lukas also proved the quality of his directorial skills and his black humored, exaggerated voice, which was also dearly noticed by audiences around the world. Paws will be very fun for a broader audience by going beyond the thrills of a creature-feature, and twisting the classic evil beast into an endangered animal. The polar bear on its juicy revenge trip is a sharp metaphorical note on our world’s current state, hence this will surely be satisfying and thought provoking.

The director has always been repelled by the look of CG animals in films (he specifically mentions being underwhelmed by the bear in The Revenant), so he intends to bring the killer polar bear in Paws to life through the use of animatronics. Much like the shark in Jaws.

I’m totally on board to watch a killer polar bear movie. Does Paws sound interesting to you? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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