When he’s not being awesome in films — his current role in “The Master” being perhaps his finest performance yet, Philip Seymour Hoffman spends much of his time directing in the theater. A member of the LAByrinth Theater Company, he’s been working on the stage for decades, with memorable work including the award-winning Stephen Adly Guirgis play “Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train” and, more recently, “The Long Red Road” in Chicago, starring Tom Hardy. But his film directing work has been slower to get going, with Hoffman’s sole effort so far being 2010’s little-seen “Jack Goes Boating,” which starred the actor/director alongside Amy Ryan and John Ortiz.
But hotter than ever coming off his latest collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson, and a nice tentpole paycheck from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” keeping the wolf from the door, Hoffman looks to be returning to video village, as Variety reports that he’s come on board to direct Mandalay Pictures‘ period ghost story “Ezekiel Moss.” The Black-Listed script by Keith Bunin (HBO‘s “In Treatment,” the upcoming “Horns“) involves a young boy who befriends a drifter who may be able to communicate with the dead. Kathy Schulman, from Mandalay Pictures (who were behind “Sleepy Hollow“) tells the trade, “Hoffman is one of the great talents of our generation. We are thrilled to be in his capable hands directing the captivating and gothic exploration of faith and the supernatural.”
It certainly sounds like an interesting project, and one that could mark an interesting step forward for Hoffman as a filmmaker — it’s unclear at this point if he plans on taking a role before the camera as well. However, given that Mandalay spent six years without a theatrical feature getting made (“Soul Surfer” marked their return last year), the wheels may not be totally greased on the project, although Likely Story (“Synecdoche, New York“) are also on board to produce, which will hopefully help. Anyway, it sounds like interesting fare, and fingers crossed it makes it before cameras asap.