Three Stanley Kubrick Scripts to Become Major Productions by Philco Films

     April 22, 2010


The late Oscar-winning director Stanley Kubrick held high esteem for years while he was still alive, and now that he has since passed, Hollywood isn’t ready to let his genius slip away. Philco Films is prepping three properties based on scripts by Kubrick, according to Screen Daily, and they seem to reflect the late film-maker’s varied career. The first will be a large-scale Civil War film entitled Downslope. The second, Lunatic At Large, will star Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell, and the third is a TV series called God Fearing Man that revolves around a famous bank robber in the early 20th century.

Philco Films isn’t aiming low with any of these properties either, as they are targeting A-list casts and crew to bring these three pieces to life. For a more detailed look at each project and the plans behind them, hit the jump.

stanley_kubrick__2_.jpgThe staple of the three upcoming properties is the Civil War drama, Downslope. Philco will give the film a $100 million budget to work with and are building from the ground up. The script, which Kubrick based on a short story by historian Shelby Foote, follows John Singleton Mosby’s famous Confederate cavalry known as Mosby’s Rangers, and will reportedly involves spies and toe the line between both sides of the war.

“We are approaching A-list directors for the project because it is an A-list script,” says Steven Lanning, co-founder of Philco Films, while speaking with Screen Daily. While they are shooting for an A-list cast as well, he understands that they “need the director first.”

Although America would seem to be the obvious spot for shooting, the plan is to shoot next year in Europe instead. Part of the reasoning is that the historic battlegrounds in which the period piece will focus on look vastly different today, but also because they are receiving heavy interest from European financiers.

The next project on the list is Lunatic At Large, which has a lengthy history and no director yet. The script, which was adapted by pulp writer Jim Thompson back in the 1950s under Kubrick’s direction, got buried after Kubrick took over directing duties on Spartacus. The film, which will star Johansson and Rockwell, has this description:

“The story of an ex-carnival worker and a barfly who strike up a relationship – although there are suspicions that one of them is an escapee from a mental asylum.”

Finally, there is the $12 million TV series God Fearing Man, which is set to begin production sometime this year. The show will follow Herbert Emerson Wilson, a famous safecracker who wrote his own book, I Stole $16,000,000. Wilson is an interesting character, and the title perhaps refers to the fact that he was a former Baptist minister. While Philco has yet to tab a cast or crew, they are eyeing Germany as a potential shooting location due to tax breaks.

Pulling all of these projects together is the man adapting the scripts for each: Stephen R. Clarke, who might have limited experience, has pedigree to his name. His father, Roy Clarke, is a well-known British sitcom writer (Last of the Summer Wine) who has also dabbled in film (A Foreign Field). Perhaps the pedigree will shine through, as Stephen has been given a grand opportunity to show what he can do.

Stay tuned as we expect more news to quickly emerge as these projects ramp up pre-production.