To follow the spectacles of “Immortals” and “Mirror Mirror,” director Tarsem Singh has previously said he’d like to try something non-visual — such as a talking-heads movie in the vein of “My Dinner with Andre.” But before he gets to tackle anything that simple (at least as far as visual feasts go), Singh has his eye on “something in-between” a talker and a stunner that he hopes to do, should the deal go through — a sprawling, Steven Soderbergh-like hyperlink film inspired by “Traffic,” “Contagion” and “Syriana” called “Eye in the Sky.”
The thriller, which was scripted by Guy Hibbert, had Olivier Hirschbiegel (“Downfall“) set to direct as of last fall. Singh told The Playlist during a chat about “Mirror Mirror” that he hopes to know within the week whether he might replace Hirshbiegel on the project.
“It’s about a drone attack, and what it means to the people playing with their thumbs in Nevada, what it means to the people saying, ‘Go ahead and strike,’ what it means to other politicians at war in Europe, and what it means to the people on the ground where it happens [in East Africa],” Singh said. “There are people who become collateral damage around the globe in a lot of ways. It’s a really contemporary, emotional piece.”
In all, Singh estimates there are 62 parts, which is what makes it tricky for him, he said, because usually it would take “Soderbergh’s clout” to assemble an all-star cast. “I have what it takes to make something happen,” he allowed, “but it’s not like it’s just one or two parts that are very big. This is more like an event film.”
Echoing a complaint heard from many visionary directors, Singh said it was very difficult to make medium-level films in the studio system. “I would like to make this kind of film, but unless it’s a very big movie or a very small movie, it’s tough,” he said. “There doesn’t seem to be a problem doing a $120 million movie, or a $2 million dollar movie, but that middle area is wiped out, especially if you don’t want to use the same five actors everyone wants to work with.”
As for other projects he’s attached to, such as “Killing on Carnival Row,” Singh said that one wouldn’t likely start until the summer. So even if “Eye In The Sky” does land in his lap, it still won’t be arriving right away.
“Mirror Mirror” hits theaters March 30th. We’ll have more from our chat with Tarsem soon.