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Gerard Butler’s New Movie 'The Vanishing': What’s Happening Here?!

By Kate Hudson | Film | November 26, 2018 |

By Kate Hudson | Film | November 26, 2018 |


In a few years’ time, Gerard Butler will have gone full Rutger Hauer, and the world will be better for it. We won’t be able to look towards a turning point in his career when he stopped trying to be prestigious and sort of leaned into B-movie camp ala Hauer, because he’s always made really dumb movies—but the on the surface his “good” movies are getting few and far between, and soon all that will be left are his good movies, aka Butler in his straight-to-streaming glory. I, for one, cannot wait.

I mean that in the best way possible—Butler makes damn fine entertaining movies (Geostorm notwithstanding) and I think it’s time he stops trying to make “prestige” movies, and just leans all the way into dumb-but-entertaining fare that he excels in. For every Dear Frankie in his filmography, there’s like five Dracula 2000s. Guess which one I have watched more?


So it is with a joyful heart that I share the news with you that the trailer for The Vanishing was released today—and friends, Butler gonna Butler this one all the way to late night Cinemax airings, because that is where this movie belongs. Again, I cannot stress to you how much that makes me happy and fills my spirit up and is in no way meant as a knock against Gerard Butler. I love Gerard Butler—Christoper Walken is getting a bit old, and we need to know there is someone out there who will continue to take movies that Walken would have in the ’90s, now that Walken is approaching his 90’s. (Note: Christopher Walken is 75, but I like symmetry, what can I say?!)

Does parts of the premise of The Vanishing sound familiar to you? It should, because its based on a true story—In 1900, three light keepers mysteriously disappeared from the Flannan Isles Lighthouse, off the west coast of Scotland in the Outer Hebrides. No one really knows what happened to them, or when they disappeared, all we know is that when their replacements arrived to the deserted island they found the clock stopped, the front gate locked, and the beds inside the lighthouse unmade.

The Vanishing has decided to go full Butler on this, and make the disappearances into a taut mystery about shadow-y men and their thirst for gold… and if movies have taught me anything, a thirst for gold either leads to your doom…

… or great adventures

…or, a murderous leprechaun who raps.

I mean, at this point based upon the trailer, I do believe The Vanishing will have a combination of all three. Who’s to say that the gold they find won’t ultimately belong to a leprechaun? They’re not too far away from Ireland. Hell, who’s to say that every one of the light house keepers who supposedly go vanishing won’t turn out to be leprechauns themselves? This is a Gerard Butler movie, baby! Anything can happen!

The best part about this “mystery” is that people who’ve studied what happened on that island are pretty sure that a huge wave sadly knocked the men out to sea, over a hundred years ago. But sure, maybe there was some gold business afoot before that happened. We don’t know—and as long as Gerard Butler is making movies, we can expect adaptations of obscure true-life events to be as weird as possible.

So Gerard, if you’re reading this, can you please get your people on securing you a role in a “based on a true story” about the Centralia mine fire? Only what really caused the fire was that the mole people finally tried to rise up, and the protagonist of the film is the one who set the mine fire to keep the mole people from the surface? There is definite franchise opportunity—think about it. What happens in the sequel when the fire goes out and the mole people go up?

The Vanishing comes out January 4th, 2019. No word when it will get to Cinemax, which let’s be honest, is how 99% of you are going to watch it…except for me. I’ll definitely be in an empty theater for this one, two weeks after opening.

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Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

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