Documentarian Errol Morris Directing a Cryonics Dark Comedy
by Brandon Lee Tenney
April 16, 2009
Famous documentarian Errol Morris, director of the Academy Award-winning doc Fog of War as well as one of my personal favorites, Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, is prepared to helm his second work of cinematic fiction for Mandate Pictures -- the Untitled Cryonics Project, as it's currently called -- according to Variety. Although it will indeed be a fictional story, Morris won't be straying too far from the real as it's based on Robert F. Nelson's memoir "We Froze the First Man" (find it on Amazon) as well as a story that aired on NPR's This American Life entitled You're Cold As Ice, which can be listened to online.
Set to bring this story from concept to script is Stranger Than Fiction scribe Zach Helm. The story is to be set in the 1960s and will be a dark comedy about a repairman who joins an enthusiastic group of people who believe they can cheat death using the new technology of cryonics. But freezing the dead so that scientists can reanimate them in the future turns out to be harder than the repairman first thought. If there's ever been a perfect match of story and screenwriter, I think this may be it. Helm's unique, vibrant voice in Stranger Than Fiction made it one of the more refreshing scripts I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
With that in mind, the dark comedy of errors that's sure to ensue throughout Morris' cryonics project seem like a wonderful fit for Helm's sensibilities. And also paired with Morris' sense for the reality of human action and interaction, this is one project to look out for. Of course, we'll let you know how it develops.