Joe Carnahan to Pit Man Versus Wolves Before 'Jazz' or 'Pablo'
Despite the lackluster critical and box office performance of Smokin' Aces, director Joe Carnahan lined up at least two sweet gigs following that movie's premiere in 2006: an adaptation of James Ellroy's White Jazz and an adaptation of Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo. However, once the then-relatively-unknown Chris Pine chose to boldly go where no man has gone before, Jazz ended up in development hell, and Pablo has been treading water for a couple years. Now, Carnahan seems to have lined up something else next as Cinematical reports he wants to do The Grey, a film he describes as an "existentialist kind of drama" he wrote himself.
The story is a classic match-up of man vs. nature in the bitter cold wilderness of Alaska. Carnahan explains:
"[The Grey] is about a group of pipeline workers in Alaska flying back into civilization after being remote for a number of months. The 737 they're on goes down, and they begin to be hunted by a pack of rogue wolves. It's very much a man vs. nature adventure, existentialist kind of drama that I want to do. We're very, very close to it now."
Sounds pretty interesting, but can wolves really be rogue? What rules or organizations do they have to break away from? Did these wolves once work for the government or with Jack Bauer? Though Carnahan has some passion for the project, and that always is important, he knows better than anyone else that wanting to do a project isn't the same as actually getting a project off the ground. But if The Grey doesn't work out, he's still optimistic about the troubled development of White Jazz and Killing Pablo for alternatives. Carnahan says:
"If not [The Grey], Killing Pablo's always going to be up there for me. And White Jazz – I'm still bound and determined to make that movie. I think there's a lot to be pessimistic about in the business right now because movies like that aren't getting green lit. I think if we can do [White Jazz] for a number, and that number is gonna be… about $12, then we can make that movie. I think it's a tremendous script, and I think there's always a place for that kind of movie. Certainly there's still got to be a place for the L.A. Confidential sequel, I can't imagine that we've forgotten that completely."
Well I think people will be more eager to remember it once they see how Carnahan's next action foray, the adaptation of the 80's television series The A-Team, fares at the box office. But with a fairly promising and fun trailer, Carnahan might be on the right track for a bit of a comeback rather than being the little-director-that-could-have. We'll definitely keep you updated on Carnahan's future, and in the meantime, you can read up on White Jazz and Killing Pablo in older articles on those projects. At one point, Carnahan even put both scripts online. Anyone interested in an L.A. Confidential sequel or more films from Carnahan?