Jake Gyllenhaal has had a quiet year when it comes to movie roels, but the actor’s latest crime drama, Prisoners – in which he plays a detective attempting to find the kidnapped children of a Boston resident (Hugh Jackman), who in turn decides to kidnap the man he thinks is responsible for their disappearance. Prisoners definitely looks like it’s a tense ride, and Gyllenhaal is already lining up new roles in films, including another crime-thriller.
Earlier this year, Gyllenhaal was in talks for the role of a charming Prince in the Disney adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale mash-up musical, Into the Woods. Rob Marshal (Chicago) is directing the fantasy adventure, and Gyllenhaal was set to star alongside big names like Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick.
Now TheWrap reports that Gyllenhaal is “out of the woods” altogether, as the indie movie that he is producing and starring in, Nightcrawler, has just been greenlit with financing from Bold Films. The movie is not, sadly, the X-Men spin-off that it sounds like, but is rather a crime-thriller in which Gyllenhaal will play a small-time crook in Los Angeles who allows himself to get swept up in the nocturnal world of crime journalism. The script was penned by The Bourne Legacy co-writer Dan Gilroy, who also plans to direct Nightcrawler.
Nightcrawler may not be the only reason that Gyllenhaal has decided to walk away from Into the Woods; he’s also currently in talks to star in mountain climbing thriller Everest with Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jason Clarke, which will begin filming shortly after Nightcrawler‘s intense five-week shoot in October and early November. Since a commitment to Into the Woods would have required Gyllenhaal to be on set during random dates throughout October and November, this likely would have prevented him from doing either of the other movies.
Looking at Gyllenhaal’s acting history, Into the Woods is somewhat outside of his preferred genres. Having first made a name for himself in surreal sci-fi cult hit Donnie Darko, Gyllenhaal has mostly stuck with independent movies and dramas with fairly modest budgets like Brokeback Mountain and The Good Girl. His last Disney film, the video game adaptation Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, performed reasonably well at the box office but left audiences and critics alike unimpressed.
Were you looking forward to seeing Gyllenhaal head Into the Woods, or do you feel that he’s better suited to fare like Everest and Nightcrawler?
Nightcrawler doesn’t have a release date yet, but we’ll keep you updated on further casting details as it moves towards production. Into the Woods is out in theaters on Christmas Day, 2014.