Gore Verbinski Sets Up Three Films At New Regency Starting With A Steve Carell Thriller

Gore Verbinski is a good director who might just need the proper project to spark him back to life after The Lone Ranger. Steve Carell is an actor transitioning from one career phase to another, thanks to Foxcatcher (above). The idea of the two of them working together on a thriller is pretty intriguing, and that's just what's happening on an as-yet untitled new film that New Regency is putting together right now.

What details we have on that are below, but there's more: Verbinski and New Regency are actually putting together a package of three films the director might do in fairly quick succession.

Deadline reports on the New Recency thriller — sorry, the "untitled paranoid thriller" that is coming together now, with a March start date. It's meant to be the first of three films that Verbinski will do for the company.

The picture was written by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit Of HappynessThe Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) and Conrad also scripted one of the other two films in the pipeline for Verbinksi and New Regency. That would be Passengers, which is not the sci-fi romance that Keanu Reeves is trying to make, but rather "a large-scale action comedy." (Passengers is just the working title for the film.)

Steve Conrad also wrote Verbinski's 2005 picture The Weather Man.

The third movie the filmmaker and financier are developing together is A Cure For Wellness, which the report calls "an elevated horror film" (whatever that is) which is scripted by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road).

All of this sounds great, and I'm excited at the idea of Verbinksi breaking out of the pattern he set up at Disney with the Pirates of the Caribbean films and The Lone Ranger. (He did have Rango in there, the animated film which is also his best effort in the past few years.) At Disney, the director didn't work super-fast, and he didn't work small. But after the unexpected smash success of Pirates of the Caribbean, development efforts for the films that followed were upsized to match the expected success of films driven by Pirate created superstar Johnny Depp.

In short, seeing Verbinski work on a more modest scale, with a set of limitations that forces his hand creatively, could have excellent results. And Carell is clearly looking to expand out of purely comic roles. The two of them together might come up with something memorable.