Last week we reported on the possibility of Angelina Jolie replacing Charlize Theron in the upcoming thriller, The Tourist. Along with that news, we also learned that the previously attached director, Bharat Nalluri, had stepped away from the project, leaving the producers actively seeking a new director. And today we get the news that a new director has been found in the form of German helmer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others).
Variety reports that although Donnersmarck has yet to officially enter into negotiations for The Tourist with Spyglass Entertainment, the talks are expected to happen very soon. Jolie was contacted by the studio a couple of weeks ago about starring in the project in place of Theron, but her involvement was said to be contingent on finding the right director. After meeting with a number of different directors, von Donnersmarck seems to have emerged as the right man for the job, according to insiders.
If von Donnersmarck officially signs on, it will be his first feature-film since his Oscar-winning The Lives of Others a few years back. And I wouldn't be surprised if along with the news of him signing on we hear that Jolie has signed on the dotted line as well.
If Jolie jumps onboard The Tourist, she will play an Interpol agent "who draws an unwitting American tourist into her attempt to locate a criminal who was once her lover." The film is a remake of the 2005 french thriller, Anthony Zimmer, which was originally set to star Tom Cruise along with the aforementioned Theron. However, after Cruised pulled out to star alongside Diaz in Knight and Day (formally titled Wichita), Avatar star Sam Worthington came on-board to replace Cruise as the titular American tourist.
The Tourist's script was first written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), but The Usual Suspects writer, Christopher McQuarrie, has rewritten it. Spyglass is producing in partnership with StudioCanal, with Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Jonathan Glickman also set to produce.
I already was intrigued by The Tourist - with its plot and impressive-sounding "switched cast" - but I'm even more interested now that it's looking like von Donnersmarck is going to be behind the camera. If you haven't checked out his fantastic The Lives of Others from 2006, I highly recommend you do so ASAP. Even though I felt Pan's Labyrinth deserved the Best Foreign Language Film that particular year, I still can't really complain because of how good the The Lives of Others is. Hopefully von Donnersmarck will bring the creative complexity found in The Lives of Others with him if and when he ends up directing The Tourist.
What do you think of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck being eyed for The Tourist? Do you think the cast and director the film has now is better than the those it had before?
As far as we know, The Tourist is being aimed for an early 2010 shooting start, and is said to likely be ready for a release sometime in 2011.