Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Unnamed Moon Rising
A couple of writers for the Untitled Moon Project sat down to discuss the evolution of the film and the lead character to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal, they hope. It looks like they're trying for an early 2010 start date.
We've heard previously from Doug Liman that Jake has been very involved in the creation of his character. John Freeman Gill, a 30Ninjas editor, helped to write an earlier draft of the movie. Simon Kinberg is a producer on the film - as is Jake, apparently - and has been working with Doug Liman and with Jake on the latest draft.
JOHN FREEMAN GILL: What kind of action hero has Jake said that he’s interested in playing?
SIMON KINBERG: A smart action hero. Jake is an Oscar-nominated, great dramatic actor, who also has the physical body to play action. And the movies he loves are things like the Bourne movies; he loves a smart, cerebral, capable character, who doesn’t lead from muscles, who leads from intelligence, but when necessary can actually also rough it up. But this character is not so much what you would consider a traditional action character in the sense of a guy who shoots a gun and explodes things and beats up a crowd of people in a fistfight. He’s actually more somebody who has this dream of going to the Moon, and by hook or crook, and quite a bit of crook, is gonna get there, and so he’s a little bit more like us. A little bit less of a superhero.
Quite a bit of crook - I like that!
JFG: What particular strengths of Jake’s as an actor are you hoping to draw on?
SK: I think he has an innate kindness to him, as a person and as an actor. And what’s interesting about that is when you play against that he becomes even more interesting, because you’re never going to feel like he’s evil; you’re always going to understand that there’s a fundamental kindness at the core of his being. So you can allow him to do things that feel like the wrong things, or are motivated by the wrong motive, because you do feel at the end of the day that there’s some kindness that will overcome whatever his personal issues are. So that’s one thing. You have a lot of leeway to actually fuck him up, because he feels so decent at the core. And he’s also an actor who, because of his big eyes, and because it feels like there’s a lot going on behind his eyes, he doesn’t have to talk much about his emotions. There are some actors who don’t feel as penetrable. So you sort of have to overcompensate for that by giving them some scene where someone says, you know, “I remember when you were seven years old and your mom died.” With Jake, because there’s so much emotion he carries just as a good actor and as someone who has these very expressive eyes, you don’t have to do a lot of work to make us feel that he is an emotive character. He just gives you a lot of flexibility as a writer. ...
but I think what’s really special about Jake is that he has this innate goodness to him. And it’s in everything. Every movie you watch of his, you feel it, and the more interesting way to go with that is to bury it a little bit. And to take for granted it’s there, and to give him a different thing to play.
Here are the three movies/characters cited as models for the character:
Lawrence of Arabia
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
It's late and I'm terrible at photoshop, but maybe someone else can come up with a combo of those three!
It's fascinating to hear about this project. I hope it continues to develop with thought and care. And with Jake in the lead. Thanks to the 30Ninjas crew for giving us a peak into the process.
Some new-to-me Jake photos from the Jarhead premiere. Nothing exciting but I did love the way Jake looked that night:
You can see his innate sexiness :)
(Moon photo courtesy of Scientific American.)