Interesting Updates on Rian Johnson's Sci-Fi Project Looper

April 23, 2009
Source: SlashFilm

Rian Johnson

Although Rian Johnson's follow up to Brick has yet to hit theaters (watch this opening), I'm already excited for his next film, a time travel sci-fi called Looper. That may be because I've seen The Brothers Bloom three times already and I absolutely love Rian Johnson, but anyway… The last time we wrote about Looper was in September of last year, right after Brothers Bloom had premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. A few small story details were revealed at the time, mainly that it would be "set in a present-day world in which a group of hitmen are sent their victims from the future." Sounds good, but how about some more details?

As part of the Independent Film Festival Boston, SlashFilm's Dave Chen got to interview Johnson and they spent a few minutes chatting about Looper. First things first, contrary to the synopsis earlier, Johnson now says this latest draft is set 30 years in the future, in a dystopian world after a "a huge financial collapse of some sort." And as for all the time travel elements, Johnson clarifies. "It's not like Minority Report, we’re not dealing with a ton of crazy technology. And the time travel aspect of it is similar to the way time travel is used in the first Terminator, where it's part of the setup but it’s not a part of the ongoing story."

If any of you have seen Primer or Timecrimes, you know that time travel can be a bit confusing. "The point of this is to tell a story and keep people watching. So it becomes a balance of narrative vs. information," Johnson says. And thankfully his use of time travel isn't going to be that confusing. "They travel backwards but, like I said, the first Terminator thing is very apt. An element has traveled back from the future, but our entire story takes place in our 'present day,' which is 30 years from now." Now I know where they got that "present day" reference for the plot. Oh and let's not forget that Looper is also "really violent and dark."

As excited I am to see Looper, I can't forget that The Brothers Bloom is due out first (on May 15th exactly), and Johnson hasn't even finished the script anyway. Let's hope it doesn't take another three years for him to make it, like it did between Brick and Bloom, because I don't know if I can wait that long for another Rian Johnson film! Why hasn't someone invented time travel yet? Then I could jump three years ahead!

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After seeing the opening for BLOOM, I was curious what he was up to next. I mean, if he can do comedy as well as drama, I wasn't sure what he was after. But not he's going for Sci-fi? This guy rocks.

crumb on Apr 23, 2009


I hate to be negative, but it just seems too many writers are getting lazy and using time trave/shifts to beef up their stories. I'm a bit tired of time travel stories personally.

JimD on Apr 24, 2009


Give this a chance though, JimD! If there's anyone who could take time travel and work it into a refreshing and unique movie, it's Rian Johnson. That's why I'm truly excited for this.

Alex Billington on Apr 24, 2009

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