Everything from the blonde girl-next-door type caught up in a confusing world of international intrigue played for broad laughs (Cameron Diaz and Katherine Heigl respectively) to the eerily calm and competent secret agents who just want a simple life (Cruise and Kutcher).
Were the two projects affected by each other? "Knight and Day" director James Mangold tells PopcornBiz that he had no idea about the other film. He was too busy planning plane explosions on the East Coast, among other things, for his film.
"I honestly didn't know "Killers" existed until about 12 weeks ago," he tells us. "You get in a tunnel when you do a film. You have no idea."
That said, "Knight and Day" is in another league from "Killers." The key difference is Cruise, who manages to achieve comedy as well as his usual excellence in stunt and action work. Kutcher managed to be the funny guy (at times), but tried way too hard to be Bond-lite in his action venture. It was painful at times. Raise your hand Tom Cruise, you've won the secret agent contest in this round!
Whether it was a freak of nature or Hollywood that brought both of these two movies out at the same time, we've seen such duplication many times before. Mangold has first hand experience. He directed the Oscar winning "Walk the Line" (2005) about Johnny Cash and emerged from his movie-making to hear similar questions about a certain film centering around Ray Charles.
"I had no idea about 'Ray,' " he says. "I didn't know about the existence of that movie until we were compared to it…all the time. I was like, 'What is that?' "
Mangold clearly needs a better spy network.