In the 1990s, the already well regarded actor Tim Robbins, kick started a directorial career that was not only promising, but was met with the great acclaim. Starting with the 1992 political parody “Bob Roberts,” three years later Robbins followed it with the excellent death row drama “Dead Man Walking” which earned four Oscar nominations including Best Director, and won his then wife Susan Sarandon Best Actress. Then four years later he returned with the uneven, but no less ambitious (and political) “Cradle Will Rock.” And then? Virtual silence on the directing front. There was another political comedy in form the of the straight-to-video “Embedded” that died pretty quickly, and other than a TV pilot and a couple episodes of “Treme,” there hasn’t been much else. Until now.
THR reports that Robbins will take the helm of “City Of Lies,” a long developing project formerly known as “Wencelas Square,” based on the short story by Arthur Phillips. Penned by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Pain And Gain“), the story is set at the end of the Cold War and follows a young CIA officer and beautiful Czech spy who fall in love. We imagine there will be complications. Two years ago, this project was moving fast with Phillip Noyce to direct this once he was all done with “Salt” but that never happened. And the selection of Robbins certainly suggests a different tone and tenor toward the material.
No word on when this might roll, but it does have some new steam thanks to Robbins and perhaps he’ll be the one to finally get this in front of cameras.