In the three years since his last directorial effort Knowing, director Alex Proyas has seen not one but two of his potential follow-ups killed for budgetary reasons. Legendary Pictures scrapped his epic Paradise Lost in February, and though Universal revived Dracula: Year Zero in the same month, it was a new incarnation of the project without Proyas or would-be star Sam Worthington attached. Here’s hoping Proyas has some better luck with his latest next move, an adaptation of Robert Heinlein‘s novella The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. More after the jump.

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My Influences

Editor’s Note: You probably know Alex Proyas as the director of films like The Crow, Dark City, Garage Days, I Robot and Knowing, but for the next week and a half the filmmaker has agreed to become a guest blogger on /Film. I asked Alex to blog about some of his influences, and you can now read the resulting blog post below.

alex proyas

I was too young to see The Exorcist in its first run at the theaters, but I remember reading the novel and being scared to death. Many years later when I was able to see the film, its impact was no less potent. I love thrillers with a spiritual aspect… simply because it centers around a danger out of human control. Sell the initial concept (brilliantly achieved by BLATTY), and you have the potential to create some of the most thrilling moments possible. Forget about the scary beats and cheap jumps which sustain most modern thrillers and horrors – I like a film that prolongs tension for so long that even a quick scene cut to a girl lying in bed with special effects makeup scares the hell out of you.

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After Knowing, Alex Proyas will begin adapting Robert Heinlein‘s novela The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. The Dark City director will write and helm the $40 – $50 million psychological thriller for Phoenix Pictures. Heinlein is probably best known to today’s moviegoers as the author of Starship Troopers. Originally published in a 1942 edition of Unknown Worlds magazine, the story was later republished in Heinlein’s 1959 collection of short stories. Proyas supposedly read the story as a kid.

When Jonathan Hoag realizes that he has no memory of his daytime activities. After discovering a red-brown substance, possibly dried blood, under his fingernails, Hoag decides to hire a private investigator to follow him in order to find out what he does during the day. The story involves a few great sci-fi concepts and offers a potential return to form for Proyas. The tentative plan is to begin production on Hoag in 2010, after Proyas tackles Dracula Year One for Universal.