Wally Pfister has firmly established himself as a pristine director of photography over the past decade, thanks to his stellar work in film, ranging from high-octane caper flicks (The Italian Job) to small-scale indie dramas (Laurel Canyon) and even productions that (at first) seem to have little intrinsic cinematic value (Moneyball).
Pfister is of course best known for his collaborations with filmmaker Christopher Nolan, which have snagged Pfister numerous Oscar nods for his camerawork on Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight - along with a win for Best Cinematography on Inception.
That's why it's big news that Pfister is slated to "go solo" behind the camera and make his feature-length directing debut later this year, after his latest collaboration with Nolan (on a tiny film you may have heard of, called The Dark Knight Rises) hit theaters this summer.
Deadline says that Pfister's directorial debut will be produced by Alcon Entertainment heads Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, who previously worked together with Pfister on Insomnia. Pre-production is currently getting underway with the intention being for principal photography to commence by this fall.
The (for now) untitled screenplay which Pfister will work from was written by newcomer Jack Paglen, based on a treatment designed by Annie Marter (a production assistant on Girl, Interrupted and The Door in the Floor) along with Straight Up Films executives Regency Boies, Kate Cohen, and Marisa Polvino.
Since the logline for Paglen's untitled script is being kept firmly under wraps, there are no other concrete details to report at this time. However, going off the speed at which this project is coming together, it stands to reason that Pfister will be working on a relatively low-key drama this first time around.
While Pfister's aptitude for shooting big set pieces - like the hallway fight in Inception or the truck chase sequence in The Dark Knight - is well known, his ability to create effectively quiet moments of drama through more subtle camera angles (as Moneyball nicely illustrates) is also something to admire.
That matter alone pretty much ensures that Pfister's directorial debut will certainly look nice (regardless of what it's actually about).
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