It’s been five years between films for Joe Carnahan, the man who directed the modern classic undercover cop movie Narc; his new film, Smokin’ Aces – a balls to the wall action madhouse unlike anything you’ve seen before, and with a killer cast – hits early next year. But it won’t be another half decade before his next film hits, since Carnahan starts shooting an adaptation of one of James Ellroy’s LA Quartet books next November.
“The film I’m doing next is White Jazz, the sequel to LA Confidential,” Carnahan told me when I sat down with him this weekend in the Lake Tahoe hotel and casino where he shot much of Smokin’ Aces.
“My brother and I wrote the adaptation,” he said. “That script is one of my favorites. It’s heartbreaking. It’s, to me, what that book always was – the point of departure from the Eisenhower 50s to the psychedelic freakshow, Manson 60s. It’s a total combination of the two with a heavy, heavy voice-over narration, this kind of classic noir. I love the script, dude. I’m going to get it out there – once it’s done I’m going to get it on the internet so people can read it.”
White Jazz may not be Carnahan’s next film, since he’s considering doing something in the year before he starts filming. “There’s discussion of potentially doing a remake of the Preminger film Bunny Lake is Missing,” he told me. “Why that interests me is because it’s completely the Ang Lee choice. What I love about Ang Lee is that Sense and Sensibility is nothing like The Ice Storm is nothing like The Hulk is nothing like Crouching Tiger is nothing like Brokeback. It’s amazing. Soderbergh’s the same way.”
I’m sure plenty more information will start hitting about Carnhan’s take on White Jazz in the months ahead. We’ll probably hear some casting news soon enough; he told me that he has someone on board – someone he thinks will blow us away – but he can’t name names yet.
In the meantime Smokin’ Aces opens in March of 2007. Look out for my complete Joe Carnahan interview in the next couple of days.