John Hillcoat can’t seem to get a movie made in this crazy town. (Or get one properly released, but that’s a rant about the underrated The Road for another time.)

Just this summer, Devin told you about Hillcoat and Bale pairing up for The Revenant (and about the movie it once was).  Based on Michael Punke’s novel, The Revenant is the true story of trapper Hugh Glass who is mauled by a bear, and left for dead by his companions.  He miraculously survives, vows revenge, and hunts them down. 

It was the perfect combination of story, director, and actor.  It would have been terrifying, grim, and illustrated with a lot of scenes of maggots.  It would make the story’s previous incarnation, Man in the Wilderness, look like a Disney flick.

But at least one part of it is not to be.  Pajiba reports that Hillcoat is off the project for unspecified reasons. The movie is still going ahead with Bale and a new director, Jean-Francois Richet.  I’m not sure Richet’s penchant for slick crime fits the story at all — the biggest enemy here is gangrene — but he’ll splatter a lot of blood.  It certainly won’t be as grim.

This marks the second project Hillcoat has had vanish beneath him.  He was all fired up on The Wettest Country in the World before it stalled, and he picked up The Revenant.  It’s unclear what he intends to do next — and if he can manage to get it to the big screen.  It’s a damned shame to see him drifting about like this.  

[via Gordon and the Whale]