Fans of X-Men: First Class‘ Michael Fassbender can rejoice at the news that the German actor will be popping up on the big screen again very soon, in titles like David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus – but, sadly, not Danny Boyle’s Trance, it seems.
Fassbender’s increasingly busy schedule has forced him to drop out of previous talks to appear in the Oscar-winner’s psychological heist thriller (more on that description later); however Fassbender’s X-Men costar, James McAvoy, is now circling the project instead.
Variety says that McAvoy is in discussions to appear in Trance as Simon, an arthouse employee who joins forces with a pack of criminals, in order to steal a particularly valuable work. However, during the course of the operation, Simon suffers a debilitating blow to the head that leaves him unable to recall where he hid the precious art piece after it was stolen – and thus his fellow conspirators begin to suspect they’re being double-crossed.
Some of you may remember that Fassbender was actually up to star in Trance as the “shady” gang leader, who hires a hypnotist to try and extract the valued piece’s secret location from Simon’s brain. So despite some assertions to the contrary, McAvoy would not actually be Fassbender’s replacement.
That’s all the more encouraging news, since McAvoy seems like a better fit for the character of Simon than the ruthless criminal leader anyway. It’s just a shame that Fassbender won’t be available to appear in Trance – not only because it would’ve been cool to see the two reunite after their excellent chemistry in X-Men: First Class, but also because a badass crook brought to life by the Inglourious Basterds actor just sounds like a winning combination (no Charlie Sheen reference intended).
Trance is actually a remake of the 2001 TV movie from Doctor Who director, Joe Ahearne. Boyle will both script and direct the new film, which on one level is a standard crime drama – complete with an easily recognizable MacGuffin (re: the coveted work of art) that gets the action going.
However, it will be interesting to see how Boyle handles the psychological element of the plot. It’s possible the film could dive directly into Simon’s mind, exploring his memories vs. his current reality in a fashion similar to that in Boyle’s 127 Hours – or perhaps jump back and forth between the heist in the past and Simon being hypnotized in the present (a la. Slumdog Millionaire style). Either way, it could make for a clever and engaging twist on the conventional caper flick.
Production on Trance is slated to begin this September, but will go on an extended break while Boyle works on the Summer 2012 Olympics. The film will re-commence shooting later next year, with a 2013 release date in mind.