It’s all too easy to imagine the ‘creative differences’ that might have driven Robert De Niro away from Edge of Darkness, the Martin Campbell-directed Mel Gibson vehicle based on a BBC miniseries from Campbell’s sordid ’80s career. Glancing over the actor’s recent filmography I see only the barest shreds of creativity within, so the most natural tendency is to believe that Campbell and Gibson realized they were leading their horses to a dry well.
De Niro was slated to play an ‘operative’ sent to launder evidence related to a young female activist’s murder; Gibson is the girl’s father, who likely gets concerned, then aggro in his pursuit of justice. Helps that he’s a cop, so when he uncoveres his little girl’s secret life certain actions (like evidence tampering of his own and teaching the girl’s activist cohorts to bathe before hopefully having sex with them) are ingrained thanks to rigorous police training. The production will work around De Niro’s role until a new actor is hired; meanwhile we can remain happy that Danny Huston is still in the cast to provide a hook upon which to hang a little interest.