After seeing HALF NELSON, I will always stand first in line to watch any film starring Ryan Gosling - which bums me out to report that one of his latest projects is now no longer happening. The ROAD director John Hillcoat was set to direct THE PROMISED LAND, an adaptation of the novel "The Wettest County In The World," written by Matt Bondurant. Musician-turned-writer/director Nick Cave (THE PROPOSITION) wrote the script and Gosling and Shia LeBeouf were attached to star. Hillcoat wrote an epilogue to his THE ROAD production diary about this project and why it's no longer happening. Here's what he had to say.
"The joke on set and in the edit suite was that we had to get ["The Road"] out before it became a reality. Ironically, the movie industry itself now faces its own apocalypse. The perfect storm has arrived in Hollywood: a global economic downturn combined with piracy and the increase of downloading on the internet – what happened to the record companies years ago but with much higher stakes. The reactionary first phase has kicked in – few films in development, many films put on hold or shut down.
My own new project – with a much-loved script by Nick Cave and a dream all-star cast – has fallen apart. The finance company that we began The Road with has also fallen apart, having to radically downsize to one remaining staff member. The great divide has begun, with only very low-budget films being made or huge 3-D franchise films – the birth of brand films such as Barbie, Monopoly: The Movie – who knows what’s next, Coca-Cola: The Movie?
I end the year appropriately – gazing into the apocalypse of my own industry."
It makes a little sense to blame piracy for the crumbling of this project, but another big reason that most likely contributed to this was the less-than-favorable reception and low box-office numbers for THE ROAD. Before THE ROAD opened, the film had a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding it. A few months after its initial release, that all went away. If you wanna know a few reasons why THE ROAD probably didn't do so well, check out our review written by Don Lewis.
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