A recently discovered treatment by noir master Jim Thompson that had been commissioned by the late Stanley Kubrick is getting a second chance at life on the big screen, with Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson.
Having already worked with Thompson on "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory," Kubrick turned to him for "Lunatic at Large," the story of a prone-to-anger ex-carnie who strikes up a relationship with a smalltown barfly. One of them may or may not be an escapee from a nearby mental institution.
This sounds like it could be right in Rockwell's wheelhouse, the man does crazy/manic/demented with a deftness and gravity, as witnessed by his great turn in his dual roles from last year's overlooked "Moon."
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Kubrick’s son-in-law/archivist Philip Hobbs came upon the writing in 2006 and turned into a script by Stephen R. Clarke. Whether that script is still in play is unclear, and it seems doubtful that British commercial director Chris Palmer is still onboard.
But Kubrick abandoned the film around the time he did "Spartacus" (1960), having gotten swept up in a number of other projects.
"The Getaway," "The Killer Inside Me," "The Grifters" and "After Dark, My Sweet" are among the films that have been made from Thompson's novels.
If you've only recently returned to Earth, Rockwell and Scar-Jo both appear in "Iron Man 2," which comes out May 7.