If the title Knowing sounds familiar, it’s because it was nearly Richard Kelly’s follow-up to Donnie Darko. I wonder if he thinks about that much.

I just hope he wasn’t planning on circling back to it, because it’s now a go-picture for Alex Proyas and Nicolas Cage. Based on an idea and a heavily rewritten screenplay by Ryne Pearson (Kelly claims he took thirty passes at the material), Knowing concerns an elementary school teacher who believes a recently unearthed time capsule not only accurately predicts the future, but the end of the world as well. And this is problematic because the end of the world is scheduled for the end of the week.

Given that Proyas and Stuart Hazeldine are rewriting Pearson’s screenplay (which, along with Kelly’s revisions, was also touched up by Stiles White and Juliet Snowden), this is beginning to sound like one of those projects that’s great as a premise, but awfully tricky as a workable narrative. A decade ago, Proyas’s involvement would’ve engendered a great deal of geek enthusiasm; now that the promise (strictly visual, as far as I’m concerned) of The Crow and Dark City has been dashed by the stunningly mediocre Garage Days and the rigorously formulaic I, Robot, it’s just another potentially middling Cage vehicle.

Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will produce, while Summit Entertainment is set to finance and distribute. Proyas will begin shooting the film this March back home in Australia.