It sure is a good time to be Duncan Jones. The world just got their first official glimpse at the filmmaker’s first major studio blockbuster in highly anticipated video game adaptation Warcraft and if you listen carefully, you can still hear the echoes of millions of fanboys’ jaws hitting the ground simultaneously. But as good as Jones’ epic fantasy tale of orcs and knights look, the director is of course more famous for dabbling in speculative science fiction (see: Moon, Source Code), and for his next project he will be returning to those roots. Specifically, roots he laid down a loooooooong time ago.
Much like with Terry Gilliam’s now almost legendary struggle to make Don Quixote – which Jones has just recently drawn comparisons to – Jones has been trying to get Mute made for a very long time. Just exactly what the holdup was is unclear, but the director already wrote the script with Mike Johnson 12 years ago. And now it’s finally happening! (Maybe a certain orcish adventure had something to do with it?)
Variety are reporting that Paul Rudd and Alexander Skarsgard have now been tapped to lead the sci-fi flick which is set “in Berlin, 40 years in the future in what has become a roiling city of immigrants, where East crashes against West”. Skarsgard will play a mute bartender who “will be looking for a woman who has disappeared — and when his search takes him deep into the city’s underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons (led by Rudd’s character) seem to be the only recurring clue.”
Rudd is just coming off arguably the biggest – or is that smallest? – role of his career in Marvel’s Ant-Man, in which he proved that there was more to him than just the silly funny guy persona he’s cultivated over the years. Skarsgard has been one of those underrated actors who seemed poised to break out into superstardom all the time but never truly did, though his long running role on HBO’s True Blood has certainly made him a familiar face. He’s going to be Warner Bros’ new Tarzan in their upcoming big budget reimagining from Harry Potter director David Yates, so that could be the role he needs to blow up. Or it could be playing a mute bartender in a smaller sci-fi flick.
Whatever the future holds for his actors, Jones is just ecstatic that he can finally make this movie.
“I’ve been working towards making ‘Mute’ for 12 years now. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that we’re finally going to shoot this utterly unique film. The fact that I get to make it with Alexander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd makes it all the more exciting!”
We’ve been hearing about Mute ever since Jones first burst onto the scene with 2009’s Moon, and was subsequently hailed as Hollywood’s new sci-fi wunderkind, so now we’ll finally get to see if the wait was worth it. There’s no indication about when Mute will go into production, and Rudd’s Marvel commitments might hamper things a bit, but if 2016’s Warcraft ends up being as fantastic as it looks – which would actually make it the first really truly great video game adaptation – then I expect Mute will not only suddenly find itself on the fast track, but will definitely be generating a ton of buzz.
Last Updated: November 4, 2015