Duncan Jones' 'Mute' Stalled But Homage to 'Blade Runner' is Next
Back in 2009, we heard that director Duncan Jones would follow his stellar debut film Moon with another sci-fi project called Mute (see the initial concept art here). Obviously, the filmmaker opted to make Source Code as his next project instead, and now we have a status update on the gestating film that was revealed almost two years ago. Apparently the project is currently in limbo and it will not be his next project this time either. In addition, while Mute was pegged to be in the same vein as Blade Runner, the project Jones will actually be tackling next is apparently another that will pay homage to Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic as well. Jones elaborates below.
"Well it’s in a bit of a limbo actually. I’ve always loved the script and felt it was a film worth making, but it’s a tricky one. It’s a sci-fi film, and one of the drafts of the scripts got leaked a while back. The reaction was mixed. Most people didn’t get the fact that yes it is sci-fi but it’s a futurist film. It’s a thriller that happens to take place in the future, it’s not some amazing piece of technology that ya know the world is depending upon and the whole story revolves around some particular piece of technology or some sci-fi hook.
That was the whole idea, to tell a film that can be based in any period, but just happens to take place in the future. And it’s been very difficult to basically pitch that in a way where people understand why it needs to be done that way. People just say, why can’t it be in a contemporary setting? But no, it’s about mood and atmosphere as much as anything else. It’s also quite dark so it’s been a tough sell. Also, it’s not a big film, it has been designed to be sort of a smaller and more independent film. Budget wise, it’s in between Moon and Source Code.
I just need to get away from it for a while. I’ll come back to it one day and hopefully it’ll work the way I see it working. In the meantime, I have another project that I’m very excited about. It will address what people expect from sci-fi films but still does what I want it to do, and still has the heart and energy that I’d wanna see in a sci-fi film."
No details on this mystery project, but it's clear that Jones loves Blade Runner and is going to make some sort of film that aims for the same tone and setting. Since Moon was one of my favorite films of 2009, I'm instantly excited about any project Duncan Jones has in his future. As for Mute, aside from the problems he mentioned, part of the issue in the story is the mute lead character. The story concerns woman whose disappearance causes a mystery for her partner, a mute bartender. When she disappears, he has to go up against the city's gangsters. Having a lead character who can't speak sounds interesting to cinephiles like ourselves, but studios are probably skeptical. Anyway, stay tuned as more information becomes available. Thoughts?