‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Writer Simon Beaufoy Still Hopes Danny Boyle Will Make Shape-Shifting Gang Movie ‘Sharp Teeth’
Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
Just over a year ago Simon Beaufoy — who won an Oscar for his Slumdog Millionaire script and went on to write 127 Hours — hoped that Danny Boyle would take a shine to his adaptation of the Toby Barlow novel Sharp Teeth. We kinda hoped Boyle would like the script, too, because it sounds nuts.
As Beaufoy explained about the LA gang tale: “the difference with this particular piece of work is that these gangs can shape-shift at will into packs of dogs. So it’s a police procedural mixed with a werewolf film. If you get it wrong, it’s a disaster. If you get right, it will be extraordinary.”
Thirteen months later, Danny Boyle has shot the thriller Trance, and is deep in prep for the London Olympics, after which he’ll get into the editing room to finish Trance. But after that, Beaufoy hopes that the Sharp Teeth will come out. He talked about the script in an interview this week while promoting Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
io9 spoke to the screenwriter, who said, “I’ve been talking with Danny [Boyle] about [Sharp Teeth]. But I’ve gotta get the script right first.” That’s more or less where we were a year ago, when Beaufoy said “If I write it well enough, he’ll direct it.”
The screenwriter tried to emphasize that the shapeshifters are “kind of dogs, more than werewolves,” and shrugged off prompting about doing the film as animation:
Yeah probably not, that would be too easy. We have to make life much more difficult for ourselves and use real dogs. That would be the best, because that would be truly terrifying. I think animation would allow too much distance from it.
(I don’t know; Waltz With Bashir has some really scary animated dogs, and there are probably lightly traumatized kids everywhere who can vouch for the fear-inducing capabilities of animated dogs in other films.)
Anyway — this boils down to a ‘not dead yet’ update, but for those wh0 liked the idea in the first place, that should be good news.
Here’s the official synopsis for Sharp Teeth:
An ancient race of lycanthropes survives in modern LA and its numbers are growing as packs convert the city’s downtrodden into their fold. Stuck in the middle are a local dogcatcher and the woman he loves, whose secret past haunts her as she fights a bloody one-woman battle to save their relationship. Meanwhile, dog packs fight and scheme all around the them, hiding out in old warehouses, city kennel cages, or the plush comfort of suburban homes. Paying no heed to the moon, these packs change from human to wolf at will, squaring off against one another as they seek dominance at any cost. “Sharp Teeth” is a novel-in-verse that blends epic themes with dark humour, dogs playing cards, crystal meth labs, and acts of heartache and betrayal in Southern California.