When your directorial debut is “Con Air,” that one-time TNT staple with Nicolas Cage sporting a sweet mullet, you’re pretty much guaranteed to continue working in that lower-tier Jerry Bruckheimer mold. Director Simon West, however, seems intent on bucking that trend with a very curious project.
ScreenDaily is reporting that the “Stolen” director is currently developing “a TV series about London’s music scene in the 1960s” and he’s somehow roped The Who into helping him do it. The show – tentatively called “Mods and Rockers” – will take some inspiration from the English band’s sixth studio album, the rock opera-cum-double-album, Quadrophenia, which is set in 1965 London and Brighton, and founding members Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend are eyeing to co-produce the show as well as handle the music duties. As West describes it, the show “will also cover the rockers’ side of the story and spills out into the wider world of swingin ’60s London, taking in gangsters, music and fashion. The two tribes will be at the heart of it.”
Ambitiously, West told the site that he hopes to duplicate what Cary Fukunaga and Steven Soderbergh have done with “True Detective” and “The Knick,” respectively, so he can “get control over the look and essence of the piece from top to bottom.” That’s not all the “Expendables 2” director is working on, he also told ScreenDaily that he’s turning to crowd-funding for his next film, an adaptation of Mark Haskell Smith’s “Salty.” The filmmaker is using SyndicateRoom instead of Kickstarter, however as the former platform will offer backers a small piece of the film’s potential returns, the same deal normal investors get with the caveat that all “investments” must be at least roughly $1700. West is also eyeing “Tolkien and Lewis,” which he described as a “spectacular fantasy film” that would detail the relationship between legendary fantasy authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
And what of West’s first film? Does he ever have the itch to go back and see what Cameron Poe and the gang are up to these days? Would he ever be interested in a “Con Air 2”? Ever the artist, West maintains that he “would do it if it was completely turned on its head. ‘Con Air’ in space, for example – a studio version where they’re all robots or the convicts are reanimated as super-convicts, or where the good guys are bad guys and the bad guys are good guys. Something shocking. If it was clever writing it could work.” Nic Cage as a robot? Count us in.