Wim Wenders doesn’t get a lot of respect. Sure he’s got Wings of Desire and Buena Vista Social Club under his belt, but unlike fellow German filmmaker Werner Herzog, who seems to be able to find financing and distribution under every rock in the countryside, Wenders always seems to be struggling. He’s had a handful of features out since BVSC, but how many have you seen? Hell, how many have you even heard of? Million Dollar Hotel, probably, and that’s it. The last movie of his I saw was Land of Plenty in 2004, and I think I’m in scant company there.

This year, however, things are on the upswing. His thriller Palermo Shooting is attracting attention at Cannes. The flick is about a photographer from Dusseldorf (Wenders’ home town) who flees Germany and ends up in Palermo, Italy. Rights for all territories were purchase by UK-based Axiom Films, so we might actually see it.

Wenders also told THR about his next film, a “full-on” genre horror flick called Miso Soup, with Willem Dafoe starring.

It is going to be very exciting. Horror is one genre that is used much less than others to transport other things. Lots of people have used great thrillers to transport political messages but the horror film is rarely used to transport anything but fear. And that I think makes it very interesting to try. It’s called Miso
Soup and is based on a famous Japanese novel.

The likely basis is Ryu Murakami’s In The Miso Soup. Murakami is delightfully insane and provocative (he was responsible in part for Takashi Miike’s Audition) and not to be confused with the more genteel Haruki Murakami. The book is about a twenty-year old Tokyo man who guides gaijin to the city’s sex clubs. Hired for three nights by an American, he begins to suspect his client may be responsible for several gruesome, violent murders. The red flag is that the American in Murakami’s novel is a big dude — Dafoe isn’t anything like the fat man described in the text. Then again, if you could get Dafoe to play an American psycho in Tokyo, wouldn’t you be willing to change a few details?

Miso Soup will shoot in Tokyo next spring.