Dan Trachtenberg's Time Travel Heist Film Gets 'Annabelle' Writer

Dan Trachtenberg on the set of Portal No Escape

A little more than three years ago, video podcast host and commercial director Dan Trachtenberg released his short film Portal: No Escape, which ended up getting over ten million views on YouTube and catapulted the filmmaker to insta-fame. Since then, the writer-director has been attached to a number of different projects, including the (apparently) now defunct Y: The Last Man adaptation and Bad Robot's upcoming film Valencia, starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr.

Yet Trachtenberg's first project to get attention after the short went viral was actually his very own time travel heist film, Crime of the Century. About a group of thieves using time travel to pull off an incredible crime, the project sold to Universal Pictures back in 2011 with only an idea and the promise that screenwriter Daniel Kunka (12 Rounds) would turn the concept into a script. Then the project seemingly vanished - that is, until now.

According to Variety, Universal has hired Annabelle screenwriter Gary Dauberman to help bring the lost film back to life. It's unclear whether he'll simply be touching up a previously written script or starting anew, but Dauberman has recently edited everything from Into the Storm and Watching Hour to the latest entries of Nightmare on Elm Street and Final Destination. Though he got his start by selling his horror spec Burst to Sam Raimi.

Portal No Escape still

Dauberman is an interesting choice for Universal because the screenwriter has mainly worked on horror films. And from the short logline going around for Crime of the Century, it doesn't sound like this film is in the same genre as all his other work. There's also the fact that most of his recent writing and editing work has been for New Line, including his only two solo-written features to date, Annabelle and Crawlspace. This film could be Dauberman's chance to branch out into something different.

Still, it's already been two years since the latest time travel hit Looper was released in theaters, and Tom Cruise's reset drama Edge of Tomorrow didn't do as well as expected this year, despite receiving great reviews. But it appears Universal has their heart set on creating a time travel drama because the film studio also recently made moves to reboot Timecop for a new generation.

So what do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are time travel stories in again? Would you be interested in seeing Crime of the Century?

We’ll keep you updated on Crime of the Century as development continues.

Source: Variety (via /Film)

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