I’m not sure how it’s taken so long for people to pick up on this story, because looking around now there’s definitely some info that’s been floating for a month or two. Our bad.
Why has this taken so long? You stick around in today’s Hollywood long enough and you’re bound to direct a vanity project or two. (And I guess if The Return of Bruno isn’t a vanity project, nothing is.) I suspect that part of the reason Willis hasn’t directed yet is — and this is going to sound mean, but that’s not the intent — that he doesn’t come off as the most…acute…guy on the planet. Other talents and skills, the guy’s definitely got. But in interviews he’s never displayed that particular sense of perception that makes a career director. Granted, he does display a singular ability to believe exactly what he wants to believe, which is a key component of a certain sort of filmmaker.
Regardless, the Shreveport Times reports that Willis is directing a flick in…you can probably guess this…Shreveport, LA. He’s starring in the film, called Three Stories About Joan, with Owen Wilson and Kieran Culkin. The Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development says the project will shoot in town from October 3 to November 10, perhaps a fairly whirlwind schedule if the film is primarily location-based, perhaps not if interiors are being built in a studio somewhere.
Nary an additional detail is to be had in the paper’s article. No plot, no writer, no financiers, nuttin. They don’t care about that shite.
But Three Stories About Joan was written by Sam Applebaum and Chris Alexander, and picked up by Willis’s company only late this summer. The American Film Market’s Film Catalogue provides a synopsis in addition to mentioning a $10-25m budget and produers Moshe Diamant, David Willis, Bruce Willis and Mark Damon working through Foresight Unlimited. Notably, no one mentions yet who might be playing Joan. (But YouTube has a couple amusing audition tapes.) Ze synopsis:
At age seventeen, JOAN loses her virginity.
At age 21, she loses her virtue.
At age 25, she loses her vices.
Or did she lose nothing …. but her mind?
THREE STORIES ABOUT JOAN interweaves the three phases of a young womans struggle to retain her faith in a love borne out of need, destroyed by a madness, and restored by a ghost. Bruce Willis character is the center of Joans life. He is egocentric, paranoid, tender, and brutal and madly in love with the Joan he wants her to be.
He is also her father. THREE STORIES ABOUT JOAN is a tautly structured fable that weaves in the surreal with the real, the supernatural with the unnatural, and the triumph of young love in all its exhaltation, and its desperation. And it is brilliant in its deception, as nothing ever is what it appears to be.