Director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) is taking on his most ambitious project to date with Looper - a sci-fi thriller about a futuristic crime syndicate that sends its victims back in time to be executed. While details are few and far between at this point, the film has attracted a talented ensemble of actors that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, and Paul Dano.
Using time travel as a plot device certainly opens up an infinite amount of narrative possibilities, but it's also an inherently complex subject - and potentially a very problematic one as well. Setting up the rules of how it works, playing by those rules, and side-stepping the obvious paradoxes is a tricky business. Luckily for Johnson, he happens to be good friends with a heavyweight in this particular arena - Primer director Shane Carruth.
Carruth was something of a one-man-band with his 2004 debut - he wrote, directed, edited, scored, and starred in Primer. Although the film is unmistakably low-budget, Carruth clearly knows how to play to his strengths. The result is a tense and thought-provoking movie that demands repeat viewings. If you consider yourself a sci-fi fan on any level and you haven't seen it, I can't give a higher recommendation.
Although I have a tremendous amount of faith in Johnson, it was reassuring to hear that he'd passed the Looper script on to Carruth for inspection after it was finished. There's no word on what sort of feedback Carruth may have provided, but thanks to Looper's official Tumblr we know that his services have now gone beyond proofreading.
Johnson shared the above header image of Carruth on the Looper set and wrote:
Shane Carruth is working on Looper.
If you haven't seen his film Primer, run don't walk.
Obviously that's a rather ambiguous statement, so Badass Digest asked Johnson if he could elaborate on Carruth's involvement with Looper. Johnson clarified that Carruth will be helping out with some of the film's visual effects - specifically, the time-travel sequences. If you remember the way he handled the mechanics of time-travel in Primer, you'll probably agree that this is exciting news.
It's unfortunate that Carruth hasn't directed another film yet, but he's evidently had some trouble locking down the financing for his next project - another sci-fi film which is reportedly titled A Topiary. While we wait patiently for that to move forward, hearing that he's collaborating with Johnson on Looper is a pretty substantial consolation.
I absolutely loved Johnson's previous films and it's clear to me that he's a director who brings a very specific and unique vision to everything that he does. I think his level of potential as a filmmaker is staggering and I can't wait to see what he and Carruth have in store for us.
Looper is scheduled to hit theaters sometime in 2012.