Taking its cues from Romancing the Stone, The Lost City is an adventure romp featuring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in versions of the characters played by Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in the beloved 1984 flick.

Based on a somewhat original idea from producer Seth Gordon, The Lost City’s sibling directors, Aaron and Adam Nee, reluctantly admit the source of their personal inspiration.

“The similarity is that this features a romance novelist who ends up on an adventure in the jungle,” says Adam Nee. “But beyond that we wanted to change things up and subvert them a little bit like in Romancing the Stone, where you have Michael Douglas as the male lead who feels very capable and tough and rugged, and flip that on its head and put Channing Tatum in there as a cover model who is not at all equipped to help Sandy’s character get to the jungle. In fact, he becomes sort of the burden that she has to get through the jungle.”

Gordon insists that the sole inspiration for The Lost City came after attending a romance novel convention while working on a documentary.

“The fact that these authors might be personally cynical and jaded about the notion of pure, ideal love while still making a career of crafting and selling that very thing, really stuck with me. That’s where these characters came from for me: an author who’s grown weary of peddling romance and the not-so-bright model she doesn’t know how to take seriously, until he helps save the day in the more unexpected of ways.”

With Bullock also serving as a co-producer, she was able to persuade her old friend Brad Pitt to make a hilarious guest appearance – his brief cameo proving to be one of the funniest moments of the film.

Filmed during the pandemic in the Dominican Republic, Tatum was impressed by Bullock’s passion for filmmaking. “She is a dynamo of a producer, who kicks the tires on everything she does,” says the actor who plays nice-but-dim Alan – aka Dash.

“Dash is a swashbuckling character that rides in on the white horse or swings in on a vine and saves the day,” he adds. “Alan is the farthest thing from that, but it’s not from lack of trying.”

Bullock and Tatum’s mismatched coupling is almost reminiscent of Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson’s cute-sweet partnership in last year’s Jungle Cruise. Finding her perfect foil in Tatum, Bullock says, “Channing is so self-deprecating; there’s nothing about him that’s ego-driven, which works for the role of Alan because he is such an innocent,” she says.

“He’s a physical comedian who uses his body to convey the joke. We connected at once because that’s how I operate. It’s so nice to have a partner you’re comfortable with, and who has amazing timing. Moreover, we’re different enough that we complement one another.”

Interview with directors Aaron and Adam Nee

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