Last summer’s Taking Woodstock was as close to a bomb as an “independent” movie could be, a fact that didn’t escape the attention of Focus Features CEO James Schamus: “My name is on that thing: I wrote it, I produced it… and I’ve got to take that bullet.” One person who apparently isn’t asking Schamus to eat hot lead over the failure of Woodstock is the film’s director, Ang Lee. Schamus recently revealed that he is in the process of writing another script for Lee to direct and that this time he’s “going back to the good old, tragic, suicidally depressing Ang!” Details – and handfuls of Celexa – are after the jump.
In an interview with THR’s Heat Vision Blog, writer/producer/studio big-wig James Schamus revealed that he has begun work on an as-yet-untitled script for Ang Lee to direct. Schamus has previously produced films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain for Lee along with writing scripts for both Hulk and Taking Woodstock.
Aside from the “suicidally depressing” part, details on this new feature are kind of thin. When asked if the script was an original concept or an adaptation of some kind, Schamus replied “It’s kind of a weird mix of both.”
Asked how he and Lee might proceed with their latest collaboration, Schamus admitted that Lee’s participation is not yet guaranteed:
“I never work that closely with him in the writing process. This (movie) was totally me. I became enamored of something and we had long talks about why… Once we’ve established that, I’ll go off and write, and maybe he’ll make it, maybe he won’t. There’s no contractual thing. This will be quite low budget.”
Low budget can be good. Brokeback made over $80 million from a budget of $14 million. The $9 million from Woodstock’s $30 million budget, on the other hand? That may be the best reason for Lee to let some time pass before agreeing to direct yet another Schamus-written feature.