Word has been quiet on what Neil Burger will be up to next following his sleeper hit “Limitless.” Over the past year or so he’s become attached to the video game movie “Uncharted,” and a riff on “Bonnie & Clyde“ penned by “Up In The Air” scribe Sheldon Turner, and while both those projects seem to be quiet at the moment, he’s landed another gig that had the studio chasing some big names.
Variety reports that Fox Searchlight has selected Burger to helm an adapation of the Dennis Lehane short story “Animal Rescue” featured in the omnibus collection “Boston Noir” that the author edited. At one point, David Cronenberg was attached to direct but before the end of last year, he dropped out with the studio seeking Alexander Payne or George Clooney, both riding high on “The Descendants” and “Ides Of March.” Burger is just as solid a choice, and he’s coming off a big hit and has also shown he can do genre fare and bring a unique perspective to the material. But Lehane’s story is quite unique on it’s own, centering around a stolen pit bull, a heist, a killing and a man trying to leave a life of crime behind.
It’s easy to see why Fox Searchlight are keen to get this moving — films adapted from Lehane’s books tend to do well both commercially and critically with “Shutter Island,” “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone” all doing well in both categories. And it’s not all Lehane has brewing, with Leonardo DiCaprio getting attached to his upcoming novel “Live By Night” earlier this spring. No word yet on when “Animal Rescue” will roll, but it has a script by Lehane done and Burger’s schedule seems wide open so we could see it develop pretty quickly from here on out.