Brian De Palma to Direct Thriller ‘The Key Man’

The last decade hasn’t been the most popular one for Brian De Palma, at least in a commerical sense. I do love his 2003 movie Femme Fatale a whole hell of a lot, but can’t really get behind the James Ellroy adaptation The Black Dahlia, and feel like the minor Iraq War film Redacted might be worth a second look at some point in the future, if only because it was a relatively early effort to embrace the always-on nature of modern video.

But now it’s a whole new decade, and the director has been working to line up a couple of possible projects. We’ve heard he might remake Alain Corneau’s Crime d’amour (Love Crime) as a film called Passion, for example. Now it seems as if he has money lined up for another project, a thriller called The Key Man, which will shoot by the end of this year.

Deadline says the film is written by Joby Harold (Army of the Dead, a rewrite on All You Need is Kill) and follows “a single father who’s targeted by U.S. government agents because his body contains answers to important national secrets.” The report also says the style of the script calls upon classic ’70s paranoid thrillers like Three Days of the Condor and Marathon Man. (The latter being one of my fave ’70s thrillers.)

If you’re out of the loop with respect to De Palma, check out Criterion’s wonderful recent blu-ray of Blow Out, which is one of the director’s best films and also one of the earlier movies to make extensive use of the Steadicam. (Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown came to work for De Palma not long after finishing The Shining with Kubrick.) And Netflix is streaming his early film The Fury, as well as Dressed to Kill, The Black Dahlia and Femme Fatale.  Do give Femme Fatale a chance; it is so exuberantly in love with being a movie that its energy becomes really infectious.

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