John Hillcoat's The Promised Land Adaptation Gets Shut Down
Late last year we reported that The Promised Land, the next new project from The Road director John Hillcoat, had tentatively lined up a cast including Shia LeBeouf, Ryan Gosling and Amy Adams. It was an adaptation of Matt Bondurant's novel The Wettest County in the World with a script being adapted by Nick Cave. The Depression-era bootlegging story seemed like it had some potential under Hillcoat's control, but apparently the project has been shut down indefinitely. Hillcoat himself broke the news in a "diary" update in the UK's Telegraph (via The Playlist). His explanation behind what happened is also depressing to hear.
The joke on [The Road] set and in the edit suite was that we had to get this movie out before it became a reality. Ironically, the movie industry itself now faces its own apocalypse. The perfect storm has arrived in Hollywood: a global economic downturn combined with piracy and the increase of downloading on the internet – what happened to the record companies years ago but with much higher stakes. The reactionary first phase has kicked in – few films in development, many films put on hold or shut down.
My own new project – with a much-loved script by Nick Cave and a dream all-star cast – has fallen apart. The finance company that we began The Road with has also fallen apart, having to radically downsize to one remaining staff member. The great divide has begun, with only very low-budget films being made or huge 3-D franchise films – the birth of brand films such as Barbie, Monopoly: The Movie – who knows what’s next, Coca-Cola: The Movie?
He's right about that. Especially after the success of Avatar, all we're going to see is everything converted to 3D and more remakes and reboots. And it's depressing to hear that this is what's happening in Hollywood, especially seeing The Road, because I know Hillcoat is a very capable filmmaker and although not many saw that film, it's a beautifully bleak and a fantastic adaptation of an incredible book. The Promised Land could come together again years from now, but until then, let's hope Hillcoat finds something else to direct soon. He ends his entry stating: "I end the year appropriately – gazing into the apocalypse of my own industry."