Producers Bruce Hendricks and Galen Walker have optioned the rights to Stanley Kubrick’s “Lunatic at Large,” one of three unmade Kubrick screenplays discovered in the film director’s library after his death in March 1999. Variety first reported the news. While plot details for “Lunatic at Large” are a mystery, Hendricks and Walker describe Kubrick’s script as a “film noir thriller in keeping with other collaborations between Kubrick and his frequent collaborator, screenwriter Jim Thompson.” Kubrick and Thompson’s shared filmography includes the 1956 film noir “The Killing,” plus “Paths of Glory” and “Spartacus.”
“The opportunity to bring a Stanley Kubrick project to the screen after so many years is a dream come true,” Walker said in a statement. “We look forward to making a film in keeping with his unique style and vision.”
Hendricks added, “Stanley Kubrick was an enormous influence on so many directors, and we are honored that the Kubrick Estate has entrusted us with one of his original ideas.”
Per Variety: “Hendricks worked as president of physical production at the Walt Disney Studios for two decades, supervising the making of more than 250 motion pictures, such as ‘The Sixth Sense,’ ‘Armageddon,’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ His executive producing credits include the first three ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films and ‘Pearl Harbor.'”
Production on “Lunatic at Large” is slated to begin in fall 2021. Variety adds: “Hendricks and partner Alan Ett will produce through their company, Emerald Bay Entertainment, and Walker and partner Ivett Havasi will produce through their company, FineLine Media.”
“Lunatic at Large” is hardly the first time an unmade Kubrick project has gone into development. Several producers and filmmakers have attempted to mount a production of Kubrick’s unmade Napoleon epic, including Steven Spielberg. News broke in May 2016 that HBO was planning a miniseries adaptation of Kubrick’s Napoleon with the involvement of director Cary Fukunaga, but no further word on the project has been announced since.
While Kubrick is famous for ambitious filmmaking visions such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “A Clockwork Orange,” he got his start making smaller scale film noir thrillers, so “Lunatic at Large” sounds like a return to his directing roots. After a series of short documentaries and the 1953 anti-war film “Fear and Desire,” Kubrick boosted his profile with back to back films noir “Killer’s Kiss” (1955) and “The Killing” (1956). The latter title, starring Sterling Hayden, dazzled critics at the time and later inspired filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, who often cites “The Killing” as a major inspiration behind “Reservoir Dogs.”