From Rob Reiner to Clint Eastwood to George Clooney, actors have long desired to make the eventual transition behind the camera.

Maybe it’s the allure of having more creative control or the desire to tell the stories they wish to tell, but in the last few years, stars like George Clooney, Jodie Foster and Ben Affleck have established themselves as skilled and reliable filmmakers in their own right. Now we can add another acclaimed actor to that list.

According to Deadline, Ryan Gosling – who will next appear in the delayed Warner Bros. release Gangster Squad – has signed on to write and direct How to Catch a Monster. Gosling will direct his Drive co-star Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) in the lead.

Here’s the film’s premise:

Written and directed by Ryan Gosling, How to Catch a Monster weaves elements of fantasy noir, and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.

Judging by the above description, this film sounds like a sort of underwater Wizard of Oz mixed with the strange visuals of Where the Wild Things Are. It’s not clear if How to Catch a Monster is aiming for a family audience or opting for the dark fantasy feel of something like Pan’s Labyrinth, but it sounds like Gosling’s directorial debut has promise. Then again, the actor has zero writing credits to his name, so anything’s possible.

Gosling’s decision to turn to directing at this point in his career is surprising. At only 31 years old, the Canadian actor is still in his leading-man days, smartly alternating between studio fare like Crazy, Stupid, Love and quirky indie films like Lars and the Real Girl. There’s no word if he will continue this streak and cast himself in How to Catch a Monster, but given his eclectic taste for offbeat stories, it sounds like it would fit in perfectly with his existing filmography.

How to Catch a Monster is set to begin production in the spring of 2013. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for further news as this project develops.

Source: Deadline