Rian Johnson has emerged as one of the more creative voices in modern American cinematic storytelling, beginning with his classic Noir/detective genre-inspired high school tale Brick and moving on through to the whimsical caper flick The Brothers Bloom – culminating with last year’s Looper, which easily became Johnson’s most widely-attended film to date (with a $176.5 million global take) and inspired lots of discussion about the movie’s time-travel plot mechanics and philosophical content.
The director’s fans should be pleased to learn that he’s continuing down the path of creating original content, as he’s currently reported to be working on a new sci-fi film (but one that stands far apart from Looper).
/Film held its 10-hour marathon podcast benefitting FilmAid this past week, which involved discussions with many accomplished indie filmmakers and fan-favorites like Jason Reitman (Labor Day) and Edgar Wright (The World’s End) discussing their upcoming projects. Johnson did as much, as revealed in the following Tweet from /Film head Peter Sciretta:
Johnson has directed three episodes on Breaking Bad (including, one that will air during the show’s final half-season), but otherwise has shown little to no interest in playing with other storytellers’ toys. He’s indicated that could very feasibly change, were he approached to tackle a property he’s passionate about (like a Batman franchise reboot), but until the perfect opportunity to work on a studio franchise presents itself “I’m just gonna keep writing my own stuff.”Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rian Johnson working on ‘Looper’
A cyberpunk sci-fi project of his own invention is therefore something in Johnson’s wheelhouse. That genre’s traditional tropes have become somewhat dated in our modern technology-dominated world, but if anyone can re-invigorate overused sci-fi ideas and give them fresh meaning, it’s the guy who took the setup for a familiar time-travel action/thriller and refashioned it as something quite different (to mention nothing of how cyberpunk-esque properties such as Akira had an overt influence on Looper).
Indeed, it seems as though the sci-fi genre continues to serve as a useful means for filmmakers to express their own personal voice and worldview – judging by the upcoming projects on the docket for people like Johnson, M. Night Shyamalan (After Earth), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and Brad Bird (Tomorrowland), among others.
We’ll keep you posted on Johnson’s cyberpunk project as more information is released.