In 2009 a screenwriter named Chad St. John pulled off the rare feat of having two of his scripts included on the prestigious Hollywood Blacklist. While it’s not really an honor that is in any way official, it’s a rousing general endorsement that can often lead to attention, if not completed deals. At the time it was Chad’s script called The Days Before that seemed to be the most likely to emerge as a feature, as it had a catchy logline (guy jumps back in time a day at a time to fight aliens), a deal with Warner Brothers, and a production company courting big name action directors. Sounding a bit like a backwards Groundhog Day by way of Memento with a bit of Demolition Man, the film apparently required a sizeable budget and little has been heard since. Now, the less austentacious of Chad’s noted scripts from that year has gotten put on the fast track due to interest from none other than producer Joel Silver and director Albert Hughes (recently departed from Akira).
Motor City is the name of the script, and it’s not without a unique hook of its own– it’s essentially a dialogue-free film. It actually is supposed to contain one line of dialogue, but that’s still a bold conceit for a film that Joel Silver is apparently offering the lead to Chris Evans (with rumors of Jeremy Renner or Joel Edgerton on the short-list under him), and hopes to get shooting early next year. Warner Brothers has shifted Hughes from the Akira film to this, and the indication seems to be that this is well on its way to actually happening (likely a relief for ole Al). Since the script presumably takes place in Detroit, I’m sure the prospect of all those delicious tax breaks is doing a little to grease this project up as well.
If Evans accepts, he’ll be taking on a mum revenge film that sees his small-time thief character tracking down those who framed and him sent to prison years earlier. Sounds like a big-budget-yet-art-house take on Faster to me, but I imagine there’s some mystery to this script yet left to illuminate.
We’ll keep you up-to-date– this sounds like a ballsy move from all involved. I hope the film can live up to the script’s reputation.
Think you could enjoy a film if the lead keeps his yap shut for the entire duration? Especially when no one else coughs up any words either? Let me know on twitter, the comments, or the boards below.