Steve Zaillian is a busy, busy man. With two scripts in the running for awards season honors in “Moneyball” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and a plethora of other projects crowding his plate including sequels to the David Fincher film, it’s a small miracle that the man also has time to produce. But via his Film Rites shingle, Zaillian has been quietly working on projects like the Philip K. Dick adaptation “Ubik” witih Michel Gondry attached, the David Cronenberg flick “As She Climbed Across The Table” as well as the remake of “Timecrimes” (which he may just direct himself). Well, one other project we haven’t heard from in a while continues to move forward, albeit in bit of a brand new shape.
THR reports that “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” scribe Zach Helm is set to tackle the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith‘s “Deep Water” for Film Rites. This project has been kicking around for a while now, and as far back as 2010 it was eyed as a potential vehicle for director Mike Nichols when it was set up at DreamWorks (he has since moved on and the movie is now at Fox 2000). So what’s it all about? Going for a “dark, sexy comedy” take on the material from the mystery master, the story centers on a man who allows his wife to have affairs, in order to keep their marriage intact and prevent a divorce. Unfortunately, her lovers start turning up dead.
So, why should we be curious about this one? Highsmith is fantastic writer, whose material has served as the foundation for numerous films, among the best being “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Strangers On A Train.” And Helm has proven himself to be a smart writer even if the movies that have resulted haven’t always shone. And his work is still grabbing some big names, as his script for “Freezing People Is Easy” now has Errol Morris directing with a cast that will include Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Christopher Walken and Kristen Wiig. So we’ll keep this on our radar for now.