Director Steve McQueen is poised to have a very busy next few months with his latest film, the excellent 12 Years a Slave, garnering serious awards season buzz. However, before McQueen moves onto his next film, it appears that he may be delving into the world of pay cable television. Deadline reports that McQueen has set up a new drama project at HBO that is described as Six Degrees of Separation meets Shame, with an eye towards moving forward in the very near future. The “provocative” untitled drama will carry McQueen’s signature style and explore “a young African-American man’s experience entering New York high society, with a past that may not be what it seems.“
McQueen wrote the project with State of Play and World War Z co-writer Matthew Michael Carnahan and intends to direct, with Russell Simmons onboard as producer. It’s unclear if this project is being planned a series, miniseries, or TV movie, but casting is already being explored as it is being fast tracked for a potential shoot before the filmmaker dives into his next feature.
Screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play) is ready to make his directorial debut with the Chicago crime thriller Violent Talent. Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) has signed on to star—Margot Robbie (Pan Am), Tony Kebbell (War Horse), and Riz Ahmed (Four Lions) will take supporting roles. Per Deadline, Carnahan’s script centers on “Eamon (Hedlund) as he and his two oldest friends Angel and Quan (Kebbell and Ahmed) try to build a criminal empire in a contemporary Chicago where he feels crime might be the most honest job around.”
Hedlund is from the Midwest (Minnesota), but I find it curious to cast two Brits (Kebbell, Ahmed) and an Aussie (Robbie) around him when the setting is so heavily accented. Better to surround him with good actors than good accents, though, and I like what I’ve seen of Kebbell, Ahmed, and Robbie. Plus, Robbie’s American accent was good enough for me in Pan Am and, more importantly, good enough for Martin Scorsese to cast her as the female lead in The Wolf of Wall Street. Carnahan’s work will next be seen (amid rewrites) in World War Z, opening June 26.
Yesterday, we reported the sad news that Joe Carnahan‘s pitch for the reboot of Daredevil failed to gain any traction at Fox. As if to make us even more disappointed, Carnahan took the sizzle reel he made to convince Fox execs and posted it online so we could get a better idea of how cool his take would have been. We’re not seeing any period-piece superhero movies, and Daredevil would have fit in nicely with the 1970s.
As we’ve seen from his tweets and posting of the sizzle reel, Carnahan has no problem keeping people updated about what he’s working on. With that in mind, he called in to The Radio Dan Show to talk about why he was interested in Daredevil, and why the project didn’t get off the ground (the rights will likely now revert to Marvel Studios). He also talks about his upcoming remake of Death Wish, when it will take place, its similarity to the original, and more. Hit the jump for what Carnahan had to say about these projects.
I was among the cinephiles who were unmoved by the first trailer for Hugo. I never should have doubted Martin Scorsese: an early screening at the New York Film Festival drew breathless praise from the lucky few who saw it. Four decades later, Scorsese is still a master filmmaker. As is customary for a master filmmaker, Scorsese has a lot on his plate: Silence, The Irishman, The Wolf of Wall Street, a remake of The Gambler, and a Frank Sinatra biopic among other things. A report from Variety suggests a new project, The Snowman, could leapfrog the others for the next slot in Scorsese’s schedule. The director has reportedly been circling the adaptation of the bestselling Norwegian mystery novel for the last month or so; Paramount has not yet made a formal offer, but Scorsese “is now seriously considering making it his next project.”
The Maguffin in The Snowman is the pink scarf of a missing woman, found wrapped around an “ominous-looking snowman” in what appears to be the work of a serial killer. More on the project and a full synopsis after the jump.
Paramount’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie novel World War Z may be getting a bullet to the head if the studio can’t find a co-financing partner. The film currently has Brad Pitt attached to star and produce with Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) on board to direct a script from Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play). However, Vulture reports that the $125 million price tag for what Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman describes as “a big, kick-ass giant movie” is too high for the studio to shoulder alone and that the studio is making an “eleventh-hour effort to court frequent Paramount co-financier David Ellison (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol)” and an unnamed investor.
Vulture also reports that the adaptation will be PG-13, which is sure to arouse the ire of the novel’s fans. Personally, I’m more concerned that Paramount wants to make an action movie even though Forster has yet to show he can competently direct action. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel.
Collider reader John pointed us to a post on author Joe Haldeman’s LiveJournal saying that Oscar-winning screenwriter David Peoples (Unforgiven) had penned an adaptation of Haldeman’s sci-fi novel The Forever War for Ridley Scott. Scott and Peoples previously worked together on Scott’s seminal science fiction film Blade Runner. Back in June at this year’s Hero Complex Film Festival, Scott said they were on the fourth draft of the script, but didn’t specify the screenwriter. It’s worth nothing that Scott hasn’t directed a science fiction film since Blade Runner and now he has Forever War on his plate along with two Alien prequels.
For those who don’t know (like me until I did this story), The Forever War came out in 1974 and (per Wikipedia) “tells the contemplative story of soldiers fighting an interstellar war between humanity and the enigmatic Tauran species [and has] pithy, insightful explorations of the inhumanity of war and of bureaucracy, and of the psychological effects resulting from time dilation space travel.” [Update: Deadline reports that it's Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play) who is currently working on the script. If Peoples was involved, it was some time ago.]
Paramount Pictures has re-upped on their option to adapt Max Brooks’ post-apocalyptic zombie novel World War Z. I have friends who are fans of the books and they’re wondering about when the film adaptation is coming along. Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) is unfortunately still attached to helm the flick. However, the flick has made an improvement in the screenwriter department by replacing J. Michael Straczynski (Changeling) with Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play).
Brooks’ book is about a researcher for the U.N. Postwar Commission who interviews survivors from all over the world in order to put together a post-mortem on a war that destroyed every country around the globe. [Variety]