It’s hard enough making your first feature film. But Matthew Michael Carnahan achieved this with what might look to an onlooker like having a metaphorical arm and a leg tied behind his back. He shot Mosul both in a language he didn’t speak and in a foreign country. But according to Carnahan, whose previous work includes the screenplays for brawny films like The Kingdom and Deepwater Horizon, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mosul is in many ways a true oddity in the filmic landscape. It was made with all the resources and support of a Hollywood production but features no performers familiar to American audiences. Carnahan, with the backing of Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo (who produced the film), took a gamble that audiences would be willing to experience the story of a SWAT team fighting ISIS the way it is lived: in the region’s native dialect. According to him, it was the only way to capture the authenticity of the source text, Luke Mogelson’s 2017 New Yorker article “The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS.”
As Mosul begins its trip around the fall festival circuit, I spoke to Carnahan about how Mosul came to be and what he hoped to achieve through its unique production.
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MGM is working on an upcoming slate of remakes from their own film library, and they’ve hired Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony & Joe Russo to oversee their production. The multi-film non-exclusive creative partnership will have the duo co-developing, co-producing and co-financing a handful of upcoming movies through AGBO Films, and they’ll be starting with the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair starring Michael B. Jordan. Read More »
J.C. Chandor, who raced from Margin Call to All Is Lost to A Most Violent Year, has left the director’s chair of the upcoming film Deepwater Horizon. The reason? Our old friend “creative differences,” at least as far as the official knowledge base goes. Now, coming in to replace him, is Peter Berg, whose most recent film was Lone Survivor. The link to the new Deepwater Horizon director may be Mark Wahlberg, who is set to star in the film, and was also the lead in Lone Survivor. Read More »
Less than a month ago Martin Scorsese started to show public interest in directing a film based on Jo Nesbø‘s thriller novel The Snowman. (He has been circling the project for longer than that.) The book is one of nine Nesbø novels featuring Harry Hole, a non-traditional, alcoholic, loose-cannon police detective. In The Snowman, “a son finds his mother’s pink scarf wrapped around the neck of a ominous looking snowman. Hole realizes she is the latest victim of a serial killer.”
Scorsese’s interest in the film is good news for those who like big-budget adaptations of brutal police thrillers, and not so good news for anyone who hoped that, after Hugo, Scorsese might finally make his long-planned Jesuit drama Silence or the mob movie The Irishman.
Now we’ve got confirmation that The Snowman will indeed be directed by Scorsese. Read More »
Jo Nesbø is becoming a prominent inheritor of the Stieg Larsson Scandinavian mystery crown. In the wake of the success of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo several authors have become best-sellers with their own brand of frigid thriller, and Nesbø is among the most successful. He has penned more than a dozen novels, one of which was turned into the Fantastic Fest entry Headhunters, and nine of which involve the tough, non-conformist detective Harry Hole, “a classic loose cannon in the police force, with few close friends and some unorthodox methods.” (Quite a character name.)
The seventh Harry Hole book, The Snowman, has been optioned by Working Title, and the company now has no less than Martin Scorsese in talks to direct the adaptation. Read More »
Movie geeks have a weird relationship with Mark Millar. We simply adore his work: Civil War, The Ultimates, Wanted and obviously Kick Ass, but we get supremely frustrated with his penchant for saying things that seem far-fetched. For example, with one of his latest comic books, Nemesis, Millar was out in force well before the release talking about how Hollywood was chomping at the bit to adapt it. We then heard Tony Scott was interested in directing. Now, months later, the series is done and, according to Latino Review, the first real step in actually making a movie has been taken. Matthew Michael Carnahan is close to signing on to write a screenplay based on Millar’s comic. Read more after the break. Read More »
Universal Pictures has released the trailer for State of Play, the new dramatic crime thriller starring Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe. Based on the BBC mini-series of the same title, the film tells the story of ” a team of investigative reporters work alongside a police detective to try to solve the murder of a congressman’s mistress.” Ben Affleck, who replaced Edward Norton in the final hour leading up to the production, plays the fast-rising politician who is caught up in a murder conspiracy. Crowe of course plays a journalist who is investigating the killing. Brad Pitt was attached to play the reporter role but also dropped out at the last minute. Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn and Jason Bateman co-star.
State of Play is directed by Kevin Macdonald, the Academy Award winning documentary turned feature filmmaker behind Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void and One Day in September. The screenplay adaptation was penned by Michael Clayton and Bourne scribe Tony Gilroy and Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom). The movie looks like a decent crime thriller, but not much more. May-be I was just expecting a lot more considering all the talent (currently and formerly) involved with the project. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo. State of Play hits theaters on April 17th 2009.