Viggo Mortensen passed on Snow White and the Huntsman right around the time Hossein Amini entered negotiations to rewrite the script. I suspect their paths crossed, as in the months since, Amini and Mortensen teamed to develop an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Two Faces of January. The 1964 novel is a suspense thriller that centers on an American con artist, his wife, and a stranger in travelling in Athens. A source tells 24 Frames Mortensen would assume one of the three starring roles, and this is intended to be the directorial debut of Amini.
Amini wields a powerful calling card right now with Drive — by all accounts from Cannes and LAFF, Drive is amazing. We peons only have to wait three months for the September 16 theatrical release. Cronenberg will next be seen playing Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, assuming it gets the late 2011 release we expect. The first trailer, released yesterday, is wonderfully deranged.
Read the full synopsis for The Two Faces of January after the break.
Highsmith is no stranger to adaptation. She wrote Strangers on a Train, which was translated for the screen a number of times, most notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. Highsmith also created the character Tom Ripley, as seen in the film adaptations of The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, and Ripley’s Game.
Three of them are waiting. Rydal Keener is waiting for something exciting to happen in his grubby little Athens hotel. At forty-odd, Chester MacFarland has been waiting much longer, expecting his life of stock manipulation and fraud to catch up with him. And Colette, Chester’s wife, is waiting for something altogether different.
After a nasty little incident in the hotel, they all wait together. As the stakes—and the tension—in theirthree-cornered waiting game mount, they learn that while passports and silence can be bought, other things can cost as much as your life. [Amazon]