Last week I got on the phone with the writer/directors of Special, the latest in Magnolia’s Six Shooter film series (which also includes the glorious Let the Right One In and Timecrimes). The film stars Michael Rappaport as a guy whose new meds make him think that he’s a superhero.

While doing my research on the film (due diligence!), I learned that writer/director Jeremy Passmore has written a screenplay that John Carpenter is developing. I found out that it was called The Prince, and was not to be confused with Riot, aka Scared Straight, the Nic Cage prison movie that was being shopped around at AFM. But beyond the title, I couldn’t find any other info about The Prince. So I asked Passmore.

“We [Passmore and co-writer Andre Fabrizio] were trying to do Unforgiven as a gangster movie, because we’re both just huge fans of that,” he told me.

When I said that it sounded like a departure from Carpenter’s other work, Passmore agreed, and spilled more beans: “It’s a bit of a departure. It’s definitley more of a very character
based crime movie. I don’t know what’s going on with it right now, but
the premise is that this guy was the most [badass] gangster of all time
in Las Vegas, and he’s left the life and created this whole new world.
His wife died but he’s raising his kid. He’s living in the middle of
nowhere and he’s this very religious, trying to live a straight life
guy. His daughter is now going to school at UCLA and she disappears,
and he goes looking for her. The trail leads to Vegas and he has to go
get her, and the entire city kind of comes down on top of him.

He said that the version that he, Fabrizio and Carpenter were happiest with was “brutal and violent and dark at the end,” but that he doesn’t know when – or even if – this project will start moving forward.

It’s interesting to see how Masters of Horror seems to have given Carpenter a bit of a kick in the ass. Over the last few years what I heard about Carpenter was that he was happy to sit at home, smoke dope, watch basketball and play video games. Maybe getting back behind the camera for a project that actually got seen and was received well put the salt back in his shaker.