The period adventure pic Here There Be Monsters is one of those incredibly cool-sounding projects that has been lingering in development hell for years. Robert Zemeckis was first eyeing the film as a return to live-action, then Brad Bird (The Incredibles) flirted with the pic once Zemeckis passed. Now it appears that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have decided to go with a lesser known director to take the helm: Jaume Collet-Serra. The director was previously behind the horror feature Orphan and the Liam Neeson thriller Unknown, but he’s become quite popular as of late. In addition to being attached to the live-action adaptation of Akira, Collet-Serra is also prepping a re-imaging of the Dracula story, Harker, with Russell Crowe.
Hit the jump for more on Here There Be Monsters, including the possible casting of Bradley Cooper.
First, a refresher: the story of Here There Be Monsters concerns real-life Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones and re-imagines him as a sea monster-fighting officer. Jones is hired to investigate the disappearance of a number of merchant ships, but once he and his crew arrive at the location of the incident they encounter a sea serpent and must battle the monster in order to get out alive.
Vulture reports that Collet-Serra is in negotiations to direct the project, and the studios are also expected to extend an offer for the lead to Bradley Cooper. It should be noted that actors get offered roles all the time (especially Cooper), so this by no means confirms that he’ll definitely take the gig. Collet-Serra is expected to rework a script by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) and get the project ready to roll before cameras in early 2013, at which point Cooper will just be coming off of The Hangover Part III.
I’m not exactly thrilled with Collet-Serra’s previous filmography, but the guy’s incredibly popular so maybe he just hasn’t been given the right material yet. He’s still attached to Harker, which won’t go into production until 2014 (Crowe’s a busy guy), but his involvement with Akira is less clear. Warner Bros. put a halt on production to address budget issues, and potential Tetsuo Toby Kebbell recently trashed the changes made to the classic manga/anime.
My guess is that Akira will fall by the wayside and Collet-Serra will make Here There Be Monsters his next project, but I’m basing this purely on gut instinct. I’m less certain about Cooper’s involvement. He’s been inundated with offers over the past few years, and he surely has more than a couple other potential projects to wade through. His relationship with Warner Bros. could push him in the direction of Here There Be Monsters, but we really have no idea what projects he’s currently mulling over. Vulture cautions that Cooper won’t officially come onboard until Collet-Serra has had a go with the script, so it may be a while before we hear anything casting-wise on the project. In the meantime, it sounds like Collet-Serra will be the one to finally bring Here There Be Monsters to the screen.