It’s doubtful that the name Mark Heyman rings a bell, but the former production assistant to filmmaker Darren Aronofsky-turned-co-writer of Black Swan has secured a deal with Fox Searchlight to script the dystopian (for the legal crowd, that is) sci-fi flick, Age of Rage.
Spider-Man reboot director Marc Webb is attached to direct the project, which he’s reportedly quite personally fond of as well. Whether it will be his followup to the webslinger’s 3D big screen outing is not yet a sure thing.
Heat Vision has confirmed that Heyman will lend “his predisposition for [scripting] what is termed ‘elevated genre’” to Age of Rage, a story set in a post-apocalyptic world where every adult on Earth has died (for reasons yet to be clarified, presumably) and a collection of teens are attempting to establish a new world order (basically Lord of Flies set in the future). Between this and next year’s The Hunger Games adaptation, it looks like the adolescents of the future aren’t going to have an easy time in life – onscreen, at least (though probably off-screen as well…).
While Heyman missed out on snagging an Oscar nod for his work on Aronofsky’s acclaimed ballet-horror psycho-drama (gotta love that description), he’s already reaping the benefits from that pic. The senior VP at Protozoa Pictures already has two writing gigs lined up - Machine Man, a cybernetic thriller being conceived as a directing vehicle for Aronofsky (and probably the closest thing we’ll get to the filmmaker’s proposed Robocop reboot), and now Age of Rage for Webb, who only began to make a name for himself back in 2009 with the quirky rom-com (500) Days of Summer.
Age of Rage sounds like a reasonable fit for Webb, given that he seems to have a predilection for spinning yarns about the trials and tribulations of young people – be they 20-somethings struggling to find love or a nerdy high schooler who learns that being bitten by a mutated arthropod isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Best to see how the Spider-Man redo turns out before speculating about what lies in the cards concerning Webb’s future as a filmmaker.
Most film lovers agree that Black Swan is a technically precise piece of moviemaking – but, as Screen Rant‘s Kofi Outlaw discussed in his review of the film, the screenplay by Heyman – along with co-writers Andres Heinz and John J. McLaughlin – is arguably the weakest element of the picture. Heyman surely helped to prevent the movie from becoming too pulpy or succumbing to the trappings of the psycho-horror genre, but his going solo on a script is another matter. Whether the “What if” premise behind Age of Rage will make for a compelling and thought-provoking futuristic tale akin to Children of Men (only, in a sense, reversed) remains to be seen.
Webb is in the midst of principle photography on the Spider-man reboot and likely won’t turn his eye to helming Age of Rage in the near future. Aronofsky will be busy with The Wolverine (a.k.a. Wolverine 2) over the next year as well, so it’s possible that both of the upcoming Heyman-scripted projects won’t be getting underway until mid-2012.