Alex Proyas to Direct Adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s Novella THE UNPLEASANT PROFESSION OF JONATHAN HOAG

     April 10, 2012

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Back in February, we learned that Alex Proyas‘ adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost had been scrapped due to budget issues.  The Knowing director has now moved on to a new adaptation, and will be bringing Robert Heinlein‘s novella The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag to the big screen.  In the novella, the eponymous character realizes he can’t remember what he does during the day, and hires a husband and wife detective agency to monitor his activities.  Their discoveries lead them to shadowy figures and frightening revelations.  It’s one of those rare situations where one person could say to another, “Damn.  I wish it had just been brain damage.”  Heinlein’s story provided the inspiration for Proyas’ Dark City, and it’s not difficult to see the similarities.  Hopefully, Hoag will provide Proyas the opportunity to show his evolution as a director rather than have him imitate one of his finer films.

Hoag will shoot in Australia with the producers eyeing a fall start date.  Proyas is also directing a short film in the anthology, Sydney Unplugged.  Hit the jump for the press release.

unpleasant-profession-jonathan-hoag-book-cover-alex-proyasHere’s the press release:

Los Angeles, CA – April 10, 2012 – It was announced today that Los Angeles based film production, finance and international sales company Red Granite Pictures will fully finance and co-produce Alex Proyas’ “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag” with Mythology Entertainment, Phoenix Pictures and Mystery Clock Cinema.

Producers are Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland (Red Granite), Bradley Fischer (Mythology Entertainment), Mike Medavoy and Arnie Messier (Phoenix Pictures), Alex Proyas (Mystery Clock Cinema) and Vince Gerardis. Joe Gatta, Topher Dow and Vincent Sieber are executive producers.

Proyas (“Dark City,” “I, Robot,” “Knowing”) will direct “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.” The film will shoot in Australia where Proyas is a resident and operates his production company, Mystery Clock Cinema. Producers are eyeing a fall 2012 start date.

In “Hoag,” the title character is struck one evening with the realization that he has no memory of what he does during the day. Distraught over his predicament, and particularly concerned that he might be engaged in some nefarious activities, he contacts a husband and wife detective agency and asks them to surreptitiously follow him. The truth takes a dark and ultimately earth-shattering turn as their investigation leads to a series of frightening revelations, beginning with a group of shadowy figures who gravely warn of dire consequences unless the pair immediately cease their inquiry into the nature of Hoag’s identity.

Proyas adapted the screenplay from a 1942 novella by the Hugo award-winning science fiction author Robert Heinlein. The original story captured Proyas’ imagination from a young age, ultimately serving as inspiration for his iconic film “Dark City.”

“Hoag” marks the first of several projects between Red Granite and Mythology Entertainment, whose partners are Bradley Fischer, writer/producer James Vanderbilt, and writer/producer Laeta Kalogridis.

Red Granite’s Pictures sales arm, Red Granite International, will handle foreign sales for the film.

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