Terminator Genisys may have been an international hit for Arnold Schwarzenegger this year, making decent money domestically but doing quite a lot of business oversees, but the most interesting film that the former Governator appeared in this year was Maggie, an interesting, if not entirely successful zombie picture. It showed a more pensive, brooding side of Arnold that, potentially, could have blossomed into a kind of reinvention of the action star, taking on more emotionally volatile material than the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m nonsense he’s been churning out as of lately. Unfortunately, the film’s script keeps on the safe side of the father-daughter tale, and the film blended a sour mix of rote sentimentality and grim atmosphere.
Still, the ambition bug has seemingly bitten Schwarzenegger following the misfire, leading him to 478, Elliott Lester‘s follow-up to the intoxicating HBO film Nightingale, which tells the story of a bereaved father who goes after the air-traffic controller who had a hand in his wife and daughter’s death in a plane crash. As Deadline reports, Schwarzenegger is set to play the father but no other players have been announced as of yet, but Darren Aronofsky, who we last saw directing the under-rated Noah, will be on-hand as a producer on the film, which is set to go into production later this year.
The most anticipatory element of this entire story, however, is that 478 was written by Javier Guillon, the scribe behind last year’s exquisite Enemy, which saw Jake Gyllenhaal playing doubles, not unlike the dreadful Jesse Eisenberg vehicle, The Double. Enemy was about as strong and suave a script as I came across last year, and as directed by the great Denis Villeneuve, the film bristled with melancholy and anxiety, and featured solid supporting performances from Sarah Gadon and Melanie Laurent. There’s no telling if Lester will be able to spin similar magic with Guillon’s latest script, but color me intrigued, to say the very least.