Anton Corbijn transitioned from music video directing/rock-photography to feature filmmaking fairly late in his career. First up, he combined his love of music and pictures with a biopic of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis that made a star of Sam Riley and followed that up with an adaptation of Martin Booth‘s novel “A Very Private Gentleman,” which he turned into the existential hitman drama “The American” starring George Clooney. Corbijn Is now putting together the pieces for what could be his last hurrah, an adaptation of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” author John le Carre‘s spy-thriller “A Most Wanted Man.”
Originally teased as a starring vehicle for “Das Boot” star Herbert Grönemeyer, the actor’s involvement has yet to be confirmed, but a very nice cast has been building nevertheless, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright and the newest addition here, Willem Dafoe. While it remains to be seen what role Dafoe will take, Hoffman is slated to play the chief of a covert German spy unit on the trail of our protagonist, a half-Chechen, half-Russian man who illegally immigrates to Hamburg and — in true le Carre fashion — spins a web of intrigue that manages to involve a young British banker and a female lawyer. Wright recently replaced Rachel McAdams as a woman caught up in the whole ordeal with Daniel Bruhl among those rumored to also be joining.
But Dafoe isn’t stopping there either, booking a role along side Matt Dillon in “Whiskey Bay,” which certainly sounds like the B-grade fare the actor dips into from time to time. The film will see Dafoe play a veteran cop who busts Dillon’s Jesse Wheeler, a notorious former member of the Aryan Brotherhood who’s trying to start his life over but gets enlisted to go undercover to expose illegal activities in the organization. The film is being directed by Chris Brinker, who likely met up with Dafoe thanks to his work on “The Boondocks Saints” films, and it has a script by Jonny Hirschbein with lensing to take place in Louisiana. [Variety/Deadline]