After Duncan Jones turned heads with his impressive debut film Moon, there were reports that his follow-up would be another sci-fi project called Mute. Jones was hopeful that the notoriety Moon afforded him would help secure financing for the picture - but when a deal failed to materialize, he opted to direct Source Code instead.
Now that Source Code's release date is right around the corner, Jones is once again fielding questions about his next endeavor. He's already earned a reputation as a filmmaker who can accomplish a lot with limited resources, but when it comes to Mute Hollywood still seems to be apprehensive about investing in an expensive sci-fi film that's more introspective than explosive.
Fortunately, Jones has decided that he's not going to wait for the industry to come around and has begun exploring alternative avenues to showcase Mute's potential. He recently spoke with Gordon and the Whale and revealed that he's planning on utilizing the same strategy that Darren Aronofsky employed when he was attempting to get The Fountain made.
Jones confirms that Mute will not be his next film, but will instead first see life as a graphic novel:
"I can sort of tell you that I’ve been talking to my producer today and we have decided that we’re going to release MUTE as a graphic novel. Because we’ve had so many problems trying to get this film made, you know? The people who are involved with financing films have just been…shy…shy of making the script. So what we decided to do is we’re going to make a graphic novel of it, prove it…prove it to an audience that this works and maybe in the future get the chance to come back and make it."
The story is set in a futuristic, Blade Runner-esque Berlin and centers around a mute bartender who takes to the streets and clashes with the city's gangsters while searching for his kidnapped girlfriend. At one point, Mute was said to be set in the same universe as Moon, but there's no word on whether or not that connection has been preserved.
It's a shame that a director as innovative as Jones can't find interested investors based solely on the strength of his idea. What's even more discouraging is that part of his original presentation to studios included concept art that was meant to convey the impressive visuals that the film would boast. Perhaps the industry's reluctance to move forward with Mute has nothing to do with needing to see the story presented in another visual medium first - maybe the term "based on a graphic novel" is just a lot more appealing.
Regardless, I hope this strategy works and that Jones is able to make Mute without compromise at some point in the future. For now, he teases that he has another ambitious film in the works that will also allow him to pay homage to Blade Runner. I'm not really sure if securing financing for a project in the same vein as Mute will be any easier for Jones - but since he doesn't drop any details, it's probably a bit premature to say for certain.
Jones also acknowledges the recent acquisition of the rights to Blade Runner by Warner Bros., but has famously taken himself out of the running for tentpole films like Superman & World of Warcraft, so it doesn't seem like he'd be interested in doing a direct sequel or prequel to the revered sci-fi classic.
We'll keep you updated on the future of Mute, but in the meantime you can check out Source Code when it hits theaters on April 1st
Source: Gordon and the Whale.