Everyone’s getting into the time travel game these days. Spike Lee’s joint, non-science fiction as it may be, sounds intriguing as hell. James Mangold is about to get in on the action, too, though his project sounds like it might actually be worthy of a yellowed paperback with a lurid painted cover.

Or not. We don’t actually know anything about the picture that Mangold is attached to, other than it’s a ‘time travel thriller’ [per Variety] pitch by playwright/ screenwriter/ director David Auburn called The Archive. Universal picked it up for Scott Stuber and Cathy Konrad (a previous Mangold collaborator) to produce.  

Auburn is the reason I’m keying on this project. I never saw his directorial debut The Girl in the Park when it hit festivals last year. (The Sigourney Weaver / Kate Bosworth / Keri Russell / ELIAS KOTEAS picture has since been picked up by the Weinstein Co.)

But his play Proof was an excellent multi-layered examination of memory, perception and math (no shit), and the adapted screenplay he penned from it had many strengths as well. The film’s weaknesses didn’t start on the page. If that same sensibility is brought to a time travel thriller we might conceivably, just possibly (next stop: assumption junction) have something vaguely as interesting as Primer.