Director Duncan Jones, son of famed Rock n’ Roll musician David Bowie, made a huge wave with his indie science fiction film, Moon, in 2008. The film, starring Sam Rockwell, followed the life of a man living alone on the moon as a miner, who is nearing the end of his three year mission. It was a fantastic character study with an an simple but interesting premise, and outstanding performances from both Rockwell, as well as Kevin Spacey, who voiced Gertie, Sam’s computer.
Since Moon was released, Jones has been talking about a film he’d been working on called Mute, which would be set in the same universe as Moon. The film, from what we know, is inspired by Blade Runner and set in Berlin, in the year 2046, and follows a mute bartender who must go against the city’s gangsters to find his missing girlfriend. The project has been one that Jones has been passionate it about for quite some time, but the film continued to fall by the wayside.
Jones ended up following up Moon with the underrate time travel thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, but he still held out hope that he’d get to make Mute. But talking to Collider a few years ago, Jones talked about the problem with trying to get the film off the ground:
That was the whole idea, to tell a film that can be based in any period, but just HAPPENS to take place in the future. And it’s been very difficult to basically pitch that in a way where people understand why it needs to be done that way. People just say, why can’t it be in a contemporary setting? But no, it’s about mood and atmosphere as much as anything else. It’s also quite dark so it’s been a tough sell. Also, it’s not a big film, it has been designed to be sort of a smaller and more independent film.
Jones then revealed that they had decided to turn the project into a graphic novel:
Although, I can sort of tell you that I’ve been talking to my producer today and we have decided that we’re going to release MUTE as a graphic novel. Because we’ve had so many problems trying to get this film made, you know? The people who are involved with financing films have just been…shy…shy of making the script. So what we decided to do is we’re going to make a graphic novel of it, prove it…prove it to an audience that this works and maybe in the future get the chance to come back and make it.
But a few years can change a lot of things, and Jones has gotten a little bit more clout now, with him tackling the big screen adaptation of Warcraft. The film has had some incredibly positive early buzz, and the film is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and exciting video game adaptations that’s on the way. But this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, Jones unveiled to Empire that he is finally getting the chance to make Mute, and it may be much sooner than we think. In fact, he’ll begin shooting it in the coming months:
Dark Horse and Glenn Fabry and myself have been working on the graphic novel for [Mute] for years now – literally years – and there’s a very good chance, if I can squeeze [it in] in these 11 months, that you’ll see the film before you see the graphic novel. It’s 11 months to sneak in my little indie sci-fi before Warcraft comes out. I got Moon done in 11 months.
This is a rather ambitious plan, but Jones doesn’t strike me as someone who looks at something like this and sees as anything than a hurdle to be faced. He has been working on Mute for so long that any chance to make it is one he’ll jump at, and I for one certainly hope he has the strength and the time to tackle this while Warcraft is in post production before it’s released next summer. As he said, he was able to complete Moon in eleven months, so I’m really hoping he gets to take this project on, because it’s one of I’ve wanted and watched patiently in development for years.
Nothing is currently set in stone, but consider me very excited by the prospect of Jones finally getting his passion project off the ground. I’ll be keeping my eye on this story as it develops, and lets hope Jones can finally bring Mute in front of cameras.
For now, we get to look forward to Duncan Jones’ next film, Warcraf, starring Ben Foster, Paul Patton, Dominic Cooper, Clancy Brown, and more, which will be release on June 10, 2016.