Michael Fassbender. Idris Elba. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tom Hardy. All names of currently “hot” actors. All names of people that cinephiles and filmmakers alike latched onto before they made said “hot” list. Will Caleb Landry Jones be joining them soon? He’s certainly building the credit line for it.
Jones has certainly hit the right kind of projects. He scored small roles in No Country For Old Men, Superbad, and The Social Network. He’s had turns on Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights and in box office successes like The Last Exorcism and Contraband. He’s “Banshee” in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men prequel trilogy-in-progress. Those aren’t the more interesting projects he is involved with though. Most recently Caleb has worked with Brandon “Son of David” Cronenberg as the lead in his body horror-esque debut film (Antiviral) and will next appear in Neil Jordan’s vampire thriller Byzantium. His performance in the former in particular has garnered a lot of praise on the festival circuit this year. And now he’s teaming with John Boorman on two different projects.
Boorman has had a few false starts on projects since his last effort (2006’s The Tiger’s Tail), including one of many Wizard of Oz properties that failed to beat the upcoming Raimi film to the punch. Things finally seem to be coming together for the Excalibur director though and one of them happens to be a sequel to a seminal film in his oeuvre. No, it’s not the aforementioned Excalibur. Sorry folks! Instead, Boorman is sequelizing his 1987 semi-autobiographical film, Hope and Glory. The follow-up, titled Queen and Country, will see the protagonist (Jones) grown to young adulthood and drafted into the Korean War. An exact production timeline hasn’t been set, but if all goes well, expect this to film sometime next year after Jones finishes his time on X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Also on deck is Boorman and Jones is the director’s return to science fiction, Broken Dream. Like Queen and Country, this is another project that Boorman has been kicking around for awhile. Hell, at one point River Phoenix was pegged for the lead. Jones will now essay that role and will be supported by John Hurt. Ben Kingsley appears to be loosely attached to the project as well, which is still seeking a female lead. Broken Dream was revived last year after being on hold for decades because Boorman wanted someone worthy enough to replace Phoenix. Jones is apparently that man, with Antiviral everything to do with his casting here. The plot involves an illusionist who can actually make things to disappear and is, at its core, a love story set against a futuristic society. Sounds interesting, especially when you factor in Boorman’s previous entry in the genre: Zardoz.
While it is far more likely that Caleb Landry Jones ends up going the way of Ben Foster and becoming a great and dependable character actor, it’s blatantly obvious that the 22 year old knows how to pick ‘em…even if one or both of these never actually make it to the screen. Kudos to you, Mr. Jones, and keep on truckin’!
Source | Variety