what you want about Smokin’ Aces (and a lot of you did), it was a pleasure to have Joe Carnahan once again orchestrating cinematic mayhem after an interminable five year layoff (just another reason to hate Mission: Impossible III). Though the script was little more than an excuse to get a bunch of badass assassins converging on the same location for a tremendously satisfying bloodbath, it’s hard to complain when the film more than delivered on its modest promise. Mostly, Aces felt like an opportunity for Carnahan to shake off the rust and get back to the business of filmmaking, at which he excels.  It was difficult to find fault with that.

As expected, Smokin’ Aces was a prelude to something more substantial: an adaptation of James Ellroy’s White Jazz starring George Clooney (and co-written by Joe’s big-time screenwriter Matt). But before Carnahan hits principal on this big time dick-swinger (which will hopefully make a ton of money and force someone to produce The Big Nowhere), he’s going to write a screenplay based on a pitch from Jason Bateman called The Remarkable Fellows.

The plot will concern a pair of brothers who, along with their father, run a revenge-for-hire business catering to upscale businesspeople. According to Bateman, "The revenge scenario is dependent on the intricacy of the plot. If the president of a major bank was sleeping with the French ambassador’s wife, the banker would call these guys." Bateman also invokes the names of James Bond and Ricky Jay whilst describing these characters, which means there might be a long con element to this one. That’d be fine by me.

Universal bought the pitch for Carnahan, who will produce with Bateman and Richard Gladstein. Though Carnahan will apparently complete this script for The Remarkable Fellows prior to shooting White Jazz, it sounds like he’s definitely going to make the Ellroy movie first. Both sound like fun to me, but I do want the Ellroy movie in a bad way. Knock it out, Joe!