When you’ve written box office hits like “Wanted” and the last two installments of the successful “Fast and the Furious” series for the same studio, you definitely earn some clout. That’s why 5-year old writer Chris Morgan is now making good on his two-year first-look deal with Universal Studios, who would probably be more than happy to produce another film with hopes of capturing some of Morgan’s “Fast Five” success (especially since the studio isn’t doing too well with blockbusters like “Cowboys & Aliens” of late).
Now, Morgan’s obviously a full-grown man who probably isn’t reeling too much from The Onion’s hilarious takedown of his career, and Deadline is reporting he’s set to use some of said clout to welcome “Portal: No Escape” short director Dan Trachtenberg into his first directing gig on a major feature. Under the Chris Morgan Productions banner, Morgan will produce the Trachtenberg- and Dan Kunka-penned screenplay for “Crime of the Century” into a heist picture for Universal, with Trachtenberg in the director’s chair.
It must be the day to report on all those films that are green lit because films like “Inception” made this sort of material seem feasible, as “Crime of the Century” joins the likes of the Louis Leterrier-directed “Now You See Me” as a heist film with a twist. Only this time, “Crime of the Century” will give the standard heist genre tropes a new sci-fi angle.
Trachtenberg’s short “Portal: No Escape” has racked up 7 million hits and counting since it created an online stir this summer, with the seven-minute short based on the “Portal” series of video games showcasing a sleek-looking action movie just waiting to be made. While this writer didn’t find much to enjoy about the short, given its visual flair, it’s understandable why a writer/producer of Morgan’s caliber would want Trachtenberg in the chair for a big sci-fi heist picture.
Whether or not Trachtenberg and Kunka have any screenwriting talent is yet to be seen, but we’re surely going to find out soon. As for Morgan, he’s still set to write “Fast Six” or “Fast and the Furious Six,” and we’re just hoping The Onion invite him back for another interview on his press run for that film.