We recently chatted with John Cameron Mitchell about his forthcoming, absolutely dynamite drama “Rabbit Hole,” which is picking up some serious awards season steam (more on that soon). However, the conversation veered into what busy Mitchell has on deck and he updated us on a couple of projects that have been developing recently.
If you’ve seen “Rabbit Hole,” you’ll know that a comic book plays an intriguing part in the film. What you may not know is that it was created by independent writer-artist Dash Shaw (and if you haven’t picked up his mammoth 2008 tome “Bottomless Belly Button,” do yourself a favor and go now. There’s probably a Borders coupon in your mailbox just waiting to be applied.) After Mitchell complimented us on being “the first journalist I’ve talked to who knows him,” he filled us in on an upcoming collaboration between the two.
“I’m actually producing his animated feature now,” Mitchell said. When asked if it was based on either “Bottomless Belly Button” or “BodyWorld,” an online comic that was collected as a book this spring, Mitchell emphatically said, “No.”
“It’s not based on anything. It’s original. It’s called ‘The Ruined Cast.’ It’s going to be 2D. It’s going to be weird, surreal… Well you know his style. I keep comparing it to Philip K. Dick meets ‘The Simpsons.’ And it’s brilliant. He’s gone through all the Sundance labs this year. And I’m producing it with the producer of ‘Shortbus.’ We’re just finishing the script and we’re about to show it to investors, probably at Sundance.”
Mitchell then volunteered details about another project he’s been developing. “I’m also working on something with Neil Gaiman. It’s an adaptation of a short story called ‘How to Talk to Girls At Parties.’ It’s a sort of British, punk-era story that involves an alien girl on her spring break. I’m going to supervise an adaptation with a British writer and eventually direct.”
You can read the short story, which was nominated for all sorts of awards when it was released in 2006, at Neil Gaiman’s website. If “Rabbit Hole” proved anything it is Mitchell’s amazing versatility and range and seeing him dip into the world of Lovecraftian science fiction, wrapped around a period comedy set in 1970s England has us positively giddy. Certainly, plenty of exciting stuff on the way from a director who refuses to be pinned down to any one style.