To many, Akiva Goldsman is akin to a cinematic antichrist, for having written such screen duds as Lost in Space and Batman and Robin. To others however, he is an Oscar winning screenwriter (Best Adapted Screenplay for A Beautiful Mind) whose films, as a writer, have grossed an average of $122 million at the US box office. Factor in that he’s also a successful producer and you can see why Hollywood likes doing business with the man.
Goldsman is now set to expanding his resume even more by making his feature film directing debut with a big screen adaptation of Mark Helprin’s 1983 fantasy novel, Winter’s Tale.
Winter’s Tale (which Goldsman will also write) has a budget set at a substantial $75 million and it is due to start shooting in 2012, once the writer has finished working on the script(s) for Ron Howard’s epic screen translation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower (which may star Javier Bardem).
According to Deadline:
“Helprin's novel is a story that centers around a thief, a dying girl and a flying white horse in 19th Century and contemporary Manhattan.”
As noted previously, Goldsman is a writer and producer who knows how to deliver a successful Hollywood product and as a screenwriter, he has mostly dealt in adaptations of existing material. In the past he has penned the scripts for John Grisham adaptations of A Time to Kill and The Client, as well as Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Winter’s Tale sounds like a challenge for a directorial debut, but Goldsman has helmed episodes of Fringe, and as the producer of such films as I Am Legend and Hancock, he’s sure to know how to call the shots on a big budget feature.
Casting hasn’t started yet, but apparently Warner Bros. are set to start filling the key roles of the thief and the dying girl soon. It will be interesting to see what cinematic vision Goldsman has as a director, and whether or not he delivers a thoughtful and visually impressive film, or a generic CGI filled feature that appeals to the masses.