It’s win some/lose some today for Doug Liman, who has been juggling a few potential projects for his next effort, following last year’s political drama “Fair Game.” But it looks like one long-gestating project is now dead, while another finds a studio courting one of the biggest actors in Hollywoodland.
First, let’s get to the bad news. Vulture reports that “Luna” — aka Liman’s Moon project — is now dead. Once mooted as a vehicle for Jake Gyllenhaal, “Luna” found fresh life this summer when it was reported that financing was in a place and every young actor in town was lining up to snag the lead roles. The picture was about as high concept as they come, following a group of renegade space employees, led by an Eastern European woman (though we’d guess the nationality might change depending on who they get to sign on), who are assembling a bunch of stolen space equipment to get to the Moon to steal an energy source, but there is one last thing they need to grab before they can leave: an ex-NASA employee. Andrew Garfield, Emile Hirsch and Chris Pine were being considered for the male lead, with Rosario Dawson, Megan Fox, Rachel McAdams, Eva Mendes, Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde all mentioned for the female role. But alas, with a budget said to be over $100 million dollars, David Ellison‘s Skydance has balked at backing the film. But no worries, because Liman has something else waiting in his back pocket.
Just over a year ago, Liman signed on to direct the time-travel actioner “All You Need Is Kill,” after his proposed “The Three Musketeers” was beat to the punch by Paul W.S. Anderson‘s upcoming movie. An adaptation of the Hiroshi Sakurazaka novel — and sounding not unlike “Source Code” — the story follows a soldier in an alien war who finds himself living his last day in battle over and over again after being caught in a time loop, becoming a better soldier along the way. Warner Bros. wants Brad Pitt to take the lead role in the film, re-teaming the actor with his “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” director, especially now that they have a script from Dante Harper (“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters“) that apparently resolves some third act issues it had. We can see why WB wants to move on this project — they shelled out seven figures for the rights and you don’t want something like that languishing on a shelf — but everybody wants Brad Pitt and as usual he’s been linked to about a zillion over projects in the past little while.
Most recently, he became attached to James Gray‘s thriller “The Gray Man” and WB also wants him for the Columbian hostage drama “Mission” which David O. Russell apparently wants to direct after “The Silver Linings Playbook.” But that’s just this year. We’re not even counting projects that he’s producing that he might angle for a role in or stuff from last year that are still potential options. So yeah, while Pitt is certainly being courted we’re guessing he’s going to wait until he’s at least done “World War Z” before making any hard decisions on what he’s doing next.
But what about WB’s new boy-toy Ryan Gosling? While he was rumored last year as being a candidate for ‘Kill,’ when we spoke with Liman he shot those rumors down and certainly after the middling opening weekend of “Drive,” the studio is likely recalibrating their thoughts on Gosling’s still untested ability to open a film. But regardless, it’s clear WB are going big out of the gate with ‘Kill’ but whether or not they’ll land their target is yet to be determined.