Sometimes all it takes to launch an unknown director into the big leagues is a single, solid indie hit. Such was the case with Seth Gordon, director of the compelling documentary The King of Kong, which took a look at the heart of the competitive arcade gaming community by following a showdown between the long-standing Donkey Kong champion and a bold new competitor.
After handling successful studio comedies Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief, Gordon will next be returning to the world of video games with an adaptation of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted franchise, which is in development at Sony Pictures. The games are similar in tone to the Indiana Jones movies, following a brash young fortune-hunter called Nathan Drake as he goes adventuring in search of treasure in far-flung places.
It seems that Gordon is keen to keep working in a diverse range of genres, however, as Deadline reports that the director has also signed to helm Queen of Hearts, a biopic about writer Lewis Carroll and the creation of his most famous children’s book, “Alice in Wonderland.” The film is being produced by OddLot with the Brillstein Entertainment Group, with Gordon’s manager David McIlvain serving as producer. Uncharted is still Gordon’s first priority, however, so it may be some time before Queen of Hearts begins production.
Queen of Hearts, as the title suggests, continues the tradition of inventing romantic backstories for literary or artistic works (see also: Shakespeare in Love and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus). The script, which was penned by Stephanie Shannon and made it onto the Hollywood Black List, is about a passionate love affair that ends badly, leaving a broken-hearted Carroll compelled to write his most famous work.
In reality, Carroll claimed that the main character of “Alice in Wonderland” was not based on any real child, though many believe that she took her name from Alice Liddell, one of the young children of a family that he was close to. Its unclear with whom the love affair of the script takes place – possible Alice’s mother, Lorina, or perhaps a version of Alice rewritten to be the same age as Carroll.
The Queen of Hearts isn’t exactly the most sympathetic of characters from “Alice in Wonderland.” She’s best remembered for her screeching cry of “Off with their heads!” and for her irrational and tyrannical rule over all of Wonderland. In fairness, it’s exactly the way you’d expect someone to write about their ex-girlfriend.
We’ll keep you updated on Queen of Hearts as the project develops.