James Gray to Direct Brad Pitt in The Lost City of Z

December 9, 2008

James Gray

The Lost City of Z is a period epic about a British explorer who was lost in the Amazon searching for the mythical City of Z, the supposed location of an advanced civilization. Paramount has just announced that James Gray, of We Own the Night previously, will direct the adaptation. The film is based on David Grann's forthcoming book due out on shelves in February. Apparently Gray will be writing the adaptation himself. Plan B Entertainment is developing the project and Brad Pitt is set to star as the British explorer. "This is a terrific opportunity to do something entirely different for me," Gray said of the news. "It is a story that will be told with an epic scale, with a main character who is larger than life."

David Grann's The Lost City of ZGrann's book focuses on the British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett, who went searching for the so-called City of Z in the Amazon, but mysteriously disappeared in 1925. Over the last 80 years, countless explorers have tried and failed to retrace Fawcett's path, including a 1996 expedition of Brazilian adventurers. He is said to have been an inspiration for Indiana Jones and other fictional archaeologists. No one knows what happened to him, which makes me wonder if this script will eventually have Fawcett discover the City of Z (and whoever is there), but still have him die or stay there forever.

I am quite interested in finding out more about this, as there is something that I find very appealing about it. I'm also reminded of Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, and the scenes in that film that involved Hugh Jackman as the conquistador. If James Gray can make an entire movie set in that same kind of dark, intimate jungle atmosphere, then I know I will love it. Speaking of Gray, I actually enjoyed We Own the Night, although it got trashed by critics. Unfortunately that film doesn't help convince me that he'll be able to handle an epic like this, so I'll say I'm cautiously optimistic and will be waiting to see how it develops. The next big step will be finding a damn good screenwriter.

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Gray said in an interview in France that he was writing it himself (he also said that he was thinking to a SF project about space travels)

brou on Dec 9, 2008


Hmmm okay, this news is a bit old then? 🙂 Oh well... still good to me!

Alex Billington on Dec 9, 2008


It's a video interview so you can listen yourself what he had to say (not much but he's saying that Lost city of Z is his next project and he talks about his science fiction idea) : (I believe it's near the end of the video but anyway it's not too long)

brou on Dec 10, 2008


story sounds great but i don't see brad pitt in the lead role. ken branagh would be a much better choice........he was excellent in "shackleton". (and he's good in everything he does, by the way)

dan on Dec 10, 2008


So by a terrific opportunity to do something entirely different I hope he means something that isn't a piece of shit like We Own The Night.

RandyG on Dec 10, 2008


I really enjoyed We Own The Night... reminded me of the bare-bones, gritty cop movies of the 70's like French Connection and Serpico... I thought it was subtly directed and thoughtfully acted, so I'm excited about Gray pushing himself creatively into new areas...

Bogart on Dec 10, 2008


I think Guy Pearce would be a good person to be the lead. But I'm sure Brad will still do a great job. I'll have to read the book when it comes out.

The_Phantom on Dec 10, 2008


I bet Brad Pitt's English accent will be awful. He always has been terrible at accents.

Movie Fan on Dec 11, 2008


---Long rich and pushing 50 -Brad Pitt continues to pump out routine slop for the comfort-zone. If that wasn't bad enough --we now find that Pitt and all the rest of Hollywood are actively covering for the heirs of the most awesomely genocidal regime in history ---across the Pacific! ---That's right. 70 million people murdered in 'peacetime' -completely unoutted and unanswered for. The direct political heirs of the perpetrators now rule. Of course you won't be hearing a peep about any of this from market favor and funding suck-up Hollywood. AGAIN --that's 70 million ( ---accept no suck-up media down-sizing! 70 million is the latest scholarly figure!). SOOO next time you see Brangelina making nice about eh Third World ---do yourself a favor --and pewk all over your PC.

pt hnry on Dec 25, 2009

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