While he didn’t get the win in 2011, Denis Villeneuve‘s Oscar nominated “Incendies” put the helmer on the map, Hollywood called and he suddenly found a few more options on his plate. Last year, he came on board the long developing Black List script “Prisoners” (which recently landed a lead in Hugh Jackman) as well as an adaptation of Russell Banks‘ “The Darling” with Jessica Chastain linked to a role. And then last month, he also put an adaptation of Joe Sacco‘s “Footsteps In Gaza” on his pile. But it’s a new project that looks like it will go first.
Variety reports that Jake Gyllenhaal and Villeneuve will take on “An Enemy,” a thriller based on the book by literary genius José Saramago. Adapted by Javier Gullón, the story follows a man who rents a DVD only to discover that one of the minor characters — who isn’t even credited in the film — is his exact double. Curoiusly, the man looks like he did five years ago, and truly confounded by the situation, he tracks him down and turns both their lives upside down.
The plan is for Gyllenhaal to play dual roles, and the movie is expected to shoot before “Prisoners” (which makes sense give that Jackman is tied up with “Les Miserables” and “The Wolverine” for much of the year). It will be interesting to see how this supposedly “dark and edgy” tale gets adapted as Saramago’s prose — very long, internal and descriptive — doesn’t exactly lend it self to an easy adaptation. The author (now deceased) had also been very particular about film adaptations and the few that have been made (most notably “Blindness“) haven’t made much waves. But, the talent assembled here is strong so we’re optimistic.