EDITORIALS

Eastwood's Hereafter is About the '04 Tsunami and Dead People!

by
November 10, 2009

Clint Eastwood / Tsunami

Yep, you read that headline right! Last night, a story hit Variety reporting that Belgian actress Cecile de France had joined the cast of Clint Eastwood's new film Hereafter, which (in previous articles) has been described as a supernatural thriller, without any major plot details beyond that. Reading on, I noticed that they said it had already been shooting for a month, which is quite amazing considering Clint just finished Invictus, which hits theaters in December and potentially could win Best Picture. Damn he is a workhorse! But then I started to think back to some details about Hereafter that I'd heard in various places recently.

In the comments on one of our recent posts, someone wrote that "Clint Eastwood is working on a tsunami movie for his next project." That comment got me thinking so I decided to some further research. Variety's plot description says that it "tells the story of three people who are touched by death in different ways." Shooting locations include Paris, London, Hawaii and San Francisco. So they're shooting in Hawaii? The plot thickens. I started looking for comments on the IMDb boards and found a few mentions of shooting in the Alps and some tidbits about the shoot in London. Then I hit the jackpot with this from The Guardian:

The film tells three parallel stories that eventually intersect – about a French TV journalist, played by Cecile de France, who suffers a near-death experience during the Asian tsunami of 2004; a drug-addicted English single mother, played by Lyndsey Marshal, who loses one of her twin 10-year-old sons in a car accident; and [Matt] Damon's character, who can talk to the dead but prefers not to. De France and Marshal contact Damon in a desperate quest for answers and consolation.

Now that sounds pretty damn interesting and like nothing he's ever directed before. Another description says Damon is playing a "reluctant psychic," which is a more succinct, yet fitting, way to describe exactly the character that synopsis says he's playing. Other write-ups have compared this to M. Night Shyamalan's Sixth Sense, which makes sense considering that Damon talks to (and potentially sees?) dead people. I have a feeling that DreamWorks (who is releasing this in December, 2010) is trying to keep these plot details a secret, not only because it's a mysterious plot, but because they're trying to keep the focus on Invictus.

Hereafter was written by Frost/Nixon and The Queen writer Peter Morgan. It stars Matt Damon as well as Marthe Keller, Mylène Jampanoï, Thierry Neuvic, and Cecile de France. It sounds like some crazy Clint Eastwood mix of something like Amores Perros or Babel (with three storylines coming together) and Sixth Sense. I'm very curious to see if he's creating this to be creepy in a Sixth Sense way or more dramatic and suspenseful. Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy are all producing, which certainly means big things. This sounds like it could be a very unique project and I'm curious to hear more about it.

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  • Keith
    Sure to be yet another great movie from Mr. Eastwood. Intriguing indeed.
  • Corran Horn
    Definitely sounds interesting. It's amazing to think that, when this comes out next year, Eastwood will have directed eight films in the past seven years. I can't think of any other director working right now who's that productive.
  • Shane
    I'm glad that it's taking a supernatural-thriller vibe, as I feel as though a number of Eastwood's recent films, while good, have more or less felt like deliberate Oscar-bait. Invictus looks the same way. Good, but totally the kind of shit the Academy eats up.
  • ConnachtFan
    Thank God for Clint! Considering the piles of steaming shite that Hollywood throws at us , from the rubbish remakes, sequels, tortureporn etc Clint is a treasure
  • Robbie
    I don't think Damon is the right guy for his character.
  • Quick breakdown of the script I did way back in the day: http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/2009/02/hereafter.html
  • Gary
    The stuff about the tsunami was out from the moment the project was announced. Certainly at IMDB on the Eastwood/Hereafter boards it's been mentioned over & over. Nice that you just found out about it but not exactly breaking news! But, yeah, agreed that it sounds quite interesting & yet another departure for Clint. >>It's amazing to think that, when this comes out next year, Eastwood will have directed eight films in the past seven years. Or TEN theatrical releases in a decade. Space Cowboys (SF), Blood Work (thriller), Mystic River (crime), Million Dollar Baby (boxing), Flags of Our Fathers & Letters from Iwo Jima (war), Changeling (period piece), Gran Torino (racial drama), Invictus (sports) & now Hereafter (supernatural), the latter of which will complete shooting by Christmas. Soderbergh has made more movies this decade but some of those are direct to video releases, unlike Clint's. The variety & consistently high quality of those movies makes Eastwood the best living American director bar none & the guy has achieved this in his 70's, an age when most American directors are retired. Who knows what he'll manage in his 80's, or beyond. One last thought; if Hereafter is pegged for release in Dec '10, what's the betting that Eastwood will have at least one more movie shot & ready for release by then?
  • Photos from the London shoot: Hereafter shooting in South London
  • sam
    i hope clint lives to be 300 years old and make movies the whole time
  • Chuck Norris
    "i hope clint lives to be 300 years old and make movies the whole time" That's only like 10 years away. It could happen.
  • Winston
    It's just comforting to see original ideas surface in Hollywood...
  • tiger tim
    ---The latest in PC snuff films from the long predictable, ever-earnest, one-note Eastwood. MEANWHILE, as Hollywood continues to rake in BILLIONS upon BILLIONS catering to the franchise slum denial needs of history's --MOST-- awesomely genocidal regime -bar none! ---ACROSS the Pacific ---the 60th Anniversary of the astoundingly relevant KOREAN WAR is, once again, 'mysteriously overlooked'... ----------------------------LOL!
  • Dumasmedium
    Excellent film! Splendidly conceived and directed. Like Matt Damon's character, I am a "medium," and the film portrays what the real-time experience can be. It is not a film that will whet the American appetite for instant gratification. It contains elements of mystery, and the question I always want to ask my fellow Americans, "Why are we afraid to walk into a mystery?" http://www.medium-psychic.blogspot.com/— Joseph Dumas, Medium, New York, NY

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