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Unproduced Stanley Kubrick script finds a cast

Will Schiffelbein

by: Will Schiffelbein
April 13th, 2010

Find me someone who says they love movies but hasn't seen a Kubrick film and I'll show you someone who doesn't love movies. Kubrick's films are often where cinephiles begin their journey into film, pouring over 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and FULL METAL JACKET. Naturally, an unproduced screenplay by Kubrick would be a high ticket item. The project has been floating about for years, but has apparently been gaining speed as of late.

According to Production Weekly's twitter feed, Stanley Kubrick's unproduced screenplay LUNATIC AT LARGE will feature Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell in the leading roles. More details, after the jump.

A few years back, the New York Times had a story about the screenplay itself. Included in that story are a few snippets that hint at a synopsis. I've pieced them together here:

Despite its title, “Lunatic at Large” is not a horror story. It’s a dark and surprising mystery of sorts, in which the greatest puzzle is who, among several plausible candidates, is the true escapee from a nearby mental hospital.Set in New York in 1956, it tells the story of Johnnie Sheppard, an ex-carnival worker with serious anger-management issues, and Joyce, a nervous, attractive barfly he picks up in a Hopperesque tavern scene.

I think we can safely assume that Sam Rockwell will be playing Johnnie Sheppard and Johansson will play Joyce. I'm drawing some blunt connections here, but Scarlet Johansson is attractive and Sam Rockwell had his fair share of breakdowns in MOON.

According to the aforementioned New York Times article (which dates back to 2006), the film does in fact have a director signed on. Chris Palmer, a British commercial director who has never made a feature, is set to sit in the director's chair. This is quite a bold move for a studio to make, as I would have expected a bigger director to tackle a screenplay of this magnitude. When I say magnitude, I'm speaking of the prospect of directing a screenplay that Kubrick himself wrote as opposed to the size or scope of the film.

Regardless of the unproven director, this is nothing but good news. The Times piece also reminds us all that Ridley Scott hadn't made a feature before he directed THE DUELISTS, which was his lead up to a film you all know- ALIEN. The plot is interesting, the two leads are excellent, and it's something Kubrick touched!

Source: Production Weekly Twitter Feed

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