Dennis Quaid will be everywhere over the coming months.
The veteran actor—whose credits include Dreamscape, Enemy Mine, Frequency and The Day After Tomorrow—has a stockpile of new genre films on the way. First, there's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which opens today, in which he plays Gen. Hawk, leader of a top-secret team of soldier-heroes.
On Sept. 18, Quaid will be seen in the sci-fi/horror/thriller Pandorum. And he's also completed Legion, a religious-themed horror-thriller set to open in January.
"G.I. Joe, when I was a kid, was a doll," Quaid said during a recent exclusive telephone interview. "I don't think they even had the term 'action figure' back then. For anybody 40 and under, they remember the TV show, the animated series. That's what this movie is more in line with, actually."
The actor chuckled when asked about playing the tough, gung-ho general.
"Hawk was fun to play," Quaid said. "He's the leader of the Joes. He's sort of a cross between Gen. Patton and James Bond and Hugh Hefner."
Meanwhile, Pandorum follows the plight of two astronauts (Quaid and Ben Foster) who wake up on their ship, apparently all alone and without any memories of their identities or mission. They discover soon enough that they are far, far from alone. Directed by Christian Alvart, the film also stars Cam Gigandet, Cung Le and Norman Reedus.
"I love it," Quaid said of Pandorum, which he saw at a recent screening. "It's got some graphic violence in it and everything, but it's got a great story and some amazing action. The story, it all makes sense. In a way, there's a little tinkering with evolution going on here. My 17-year-old son saw it with a friend, and they really loved it, too."
Finally, Legion director Scott Stewart (Antibodies) has assembled a heck of a cast for his apocalyptic thriller. In addition to Quaid, it stars Paul Bettany, Doug Jones, Kate Walsh, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki, Lucas Haas and Charles S. Dutton, among others.
"Legion is really kind of an end-of-times tale," Quaid said. "It all takes place in a diner out in the middle of nowhere, and there are these disparate characters who have coincidentally come together. And they're trying to save the Earth, trying to save the world."
So is Quaid's character a good guy or a bad guy?
"I guess you can call me a good guy in the movie," he replies. "I own the diner."