I think it’s fair to assume film fans everywhere are anticipating Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire, the Best Picture winner that made the director a household name. It was previously announced that he would be directing a film called 127 Hours, a take on the real-life events endured by a hiker named Aron Ralston.
At a recent press event promoting Hot Tub Time Machine, Lizzy Caplan (“Party Down,” Cloverfield, Hot Tub Time Machine) revealed to us that she has joined the cast, where she will work alongside James Franco (Pineapple Express), Amber Tamblyn (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), and Kate Mara (Transsiberian).
Caplan will play the sister of Aron Ralston, the real-life mountain climber who, after getting his arm caught near a boulder in 2003, had to amputate it with a dull knife to free himself. The increasingly impressive Franco will play Ralston, and Mara (who was fantastic in Brad Anderson’s Transsiberian) will play a hiker he meets before the treacherous incident. There is some confusion about Tamblyn’s role: she’s either playing Ralston’s love interest (a role for which Katie Featherston of Paranormal Activity also auditioned) or a hiker alongside Mara’s character.
One of the most interesting elements of this production was Boyle’s desire to film the entire first half of the movie without dialogue of any kind. No Tom Hanks/Castaway cheating, either – just silence. Since that announcement, Boyle has clarified that just because there won’t be dialogue (two characters talking) doesn’t mean there won’t be monologue. He spoke with Ralston (who serves as a consultant on the film) and discovered that Ralston carried a video camera with him; he recorded some “goodbyes” to the people he loved when he thought he wasn’t going to make it. Apparently Boyle intends to include that aspect into the storyline. There has been speculation about the structure mirroring the introduction of There Will Be Blood, which is silent (except for the occasional grunt) for the first 15-20 minutes. It doesn’t matter to me who is speaking on camera or for how long – I’m confident enough in both Boyle’s directorial ability and Franco’s acting to be sold on the concept.
While most of the film is intended as a virtual “one man show,” there will also be flashbacks to Ralston’s life which will give his character motivation to continue. Presumably, this is where Caplan and Co. will get the most screen time.
Also of note is Boyle’s decision to use two cinematographers: Anthony Dod Mantle, who shot 28 Days Later, and Enrique Chediak, who shot 28 Weeks Later. How is Boyle planning to incorporate both visions into the final product? We aren’t sure. Filming is currently underway in Utah and there is no official release date yet.
Are you excited about 127 Hours? Do you think Caplan is a good addition to the cast? Sound off below and let us know.
Additional information: The Playlist