It seems like ancient history, and it kind of is, but way back in 2010 Joe Carnahan signed on to direct the thriller “Umbra.” The project had been kicking around awhile – and once was set to be a Roger Donaldson/Nicolas Cage vehicle, but they made the terrible-looking “Seeking Justice” instead – but it continued to sit on the backburner, as Carnahan went off and shot his upcoming man vs. nature vs. Liam Neeson tale “The Grey.” Well, the project has changed hands once again, falling into the lap of someone who needs a serious rebound.
Martin Campbell, still smarting from the disaster of “Green Lantern” and anxious to recapture the goodwill sent his way following the excellent “Casino Royale,” has now replaced Carnahan on the project. And just to ensure he’ll be working with a tight script, he’s enlisted Paul Haggis (who penned “Casino Royale,” fyi) to rewrite the it. Steven Karczynski penned the original draft, with Carnahan doing a recent rewrite on the story about a man who gets a mysterious package in the mail that throws him into the midst of a government conspiracy. We presume it’s not a Publisher’s Clearing House envelope.
And this one is moving fast. The project will roll in front of cameras this spring, so we’d guess casting will happen soon. But what does Carnahan think about all this? He’s cool with it, leaving the project for personal reasons, and hitting Twitter today to say: “Excited to see what Martin Campbell will do with UMBRA & Haggis is an extremely talented cat. All my best to Jim Stern & the Endgame peeps.” So everyone is happy, and this one is finally moving ahead, let’s just hope that logline is just a small taste of what’s to come.