Even though “The Hangover III” is in the midst of production, Todd Phillips is already looking beyond the final chapter of the fratboy comedy franchise, and has been lining up various projects as potential directorial vehicles. Over the past year, his name has become attached to the stoner weapons dealer pic “Arms And The Dudes“; the drug tale “Mule” penned by the Duplass Brothers and just last month he took over “The Gambler” remake from Martin Scorsese. And now he’s adding another to the development pile, and it’s arguably the most intriguing of the lot.
Warner Bros. has snapped up the rights to Linwood Barclay‘s novel “Trust Your Eyes,” and now has Phillips attached to direct. Described as a thriller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Rear Window,” and set in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the story also features a man witnessing a murder, but this time he’s “a map-obsessed schizophrenic savant.” He enlists the help of his brother to find the killer, but before long they’re mixing it up with an ex-cop, and his “ice-pick wielding henchwoman” (!!) who are in the midst of covering their own tracks. Here’s the full book synopsis:
Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address, as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen.
Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon—but has not—in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.
Thomas’s brother, Ray, takes care of him, cooking for him, dealing with the outside world on his behalf, and listening to his intricate and increasingly paranoid theories. When Thomas tells Ray what he has seen, Ray humors him with a half-hearted investigation. But Ray soon realizes he and his brother have stumbled onto a deadly conspiracy.
And now they are in the crosshairs…
Where this falls on Phillips’ slate remains to be seen, but it’s likely a way off, as a script still needs to be written. Either way, it seems Phillips is determined to move away from his comfortable comedy niche for his next effort, and that’s certainly worth of some applause. He could easily sit back and crank out ‘Hangover’-style movies until he drops, but it seems he’s eager to push his boundaries a bit. [Variety]