Published in 1970, optioned by Paul Newman and then attempted by Robert Redford in the mid-1990s, with more filmmakers to follow, getting “The Body Snatchers” writer Jack Finney‘s novel “Time And Again” up on the big screen has been a decades spanning effort worthy of the book’s premise. But Doug Liman is going to give it a shot.
Variety reports that he will come on board to direct the project for Lionsgate, who now have the rights. And it’s easy to see the potential for this one, and why it has kept developing for the past few years. The story follows an illustrator living in mid-20th century New York City (we presume that will be contemporized) who enlists in a secret government program where he is whisked back to 1882, falls in love, and is left to decide whether to live his past or return to the present. Oh yeah, even better from a studio perspective is that this already has sequel potential. Finney penned a followu-up, “From Time To Time,” that was published a year after his death (there were plans for a third book — trilogy! — but Finney never got the chance to write it).
But it seems even more time will have to lapse before this gets made. Liman’s “All You Need Is Kill” just got a greenlight and will be shot as planned this fall with Tom Cruise. And he’s also got a number of other projects in the works: the documentary “Reckoning With Torture: Memos And Testimonies From The War On Terror“; “Everest” by “Up In The Air” scribe Sheldon Turner; and a movie about Two-Gun Cohen. So just add it to the pile — we’ll see if Liman is the one who can finally bring this effort to the multiplex.