"Metallica Through the Never" is an upcoming IMAX 3D extravaganza that offers a fresh spin on the whole tried-and-true "concert film" format. More than a just a "spin," actually -- it adds an additional parallel narrative to concert footage of the longtime band proving that nobody rocks quite as hard as guys who traditionally might have retired about two decades ago.
Watch the exclusive trailer premiere for 'Metallica Through the Never':
The trailer certainly doesn't open like a concert film. In fact, this could be a trailer for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" for all we know, as we see young Dane DeHaan (who's playing Harry Osborn in next summer's "Amazing Spider-Man" sequel) behind the wheel of a van, traversing the kind of foreboding nocturnal Los Angeles that was on display so effectively in Michael Mann's "Collateral." DeHaan's distracted by a road map, which causes him to run a red light and get smashed into by a right-of-way vehicle.
DeHaan crawls from the wreckage of the van as Metallica's rather ominous "Master of Puppets" kicks in, and from there we see footage of the band in some massive concert hall mixed with images of DeHaan trapped in some dystopian L.A. nightmare landscape, complete with rampaging gangs that set cars on fire as police in riot gear ride horses through the chaos. DeHaan is seen carrying some sort of briefcase, which no doubt contains some item of importance that must be delivered to some unidentified party by some unidentified time or all is lost (or something thereof).
"Through the Never" (named after a track from the 1991 record often referred to as "The Black Album") has actually been a long time coming, though making an IMAX 3D concert film was certainly a much more difficult endeavor back in the day.
"15 years ago we were actually in negotiations with IMAX to do kind of an old-school IMAX film, back when they were just doing mountain-climbing films and dinosaur films," said Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich in an interview with STV Entertainment at the Cannes Film Festival. "But the cameras and practicalities of doing an IMAX film in the '90s for us as a rock band were ... it just wasn't doable. So it's kind of fun how it's come back around again."
"Metallica Through the Never," which follows DeHaan as one of the band's crew members who's given a very special -- and obviously very dangerous -- mission, was designed from the start to be something of a game-changer for concert films.
"We just wanted to try and do something that wasn't the sort of standard fare concert film," said Ulrich. "It's been done, and it's been done very well by many bands. But we wanted to challenge ourselves a little bit and try and do something different ... and try to bring a little more of I guess a film element into it, a cinematic element into it and I think we've done that."
"Metallica Through the Never," written and directed by Nimrod Antal ("Vacancy," "Predators"), will hit traditional theaters on October 4 with the IMAX 3D version being released earlier on September 27.