More Accurate Details on 'Primer' Writer/Director's 'Upstream Color'

October 12, 2011
Source: CHUD

Shane Carruth

It's been seven years since former engineer turned filmmaker Shane Carruth made his debut with Primer, an indie sci-fi centered around four engineers who accidentally discover a method to travel through time. To this day, the film is still one of the most smart and mind-bending time travel tales to be told on screen. It was independent in every sense of the word, made for an estimated $7,000 right here in Carruth's own hometown of Dallas, Texas, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival where it premiered. Now Carruth is set to make his long awaited return with something completely new. Read on!

CHUD got the scoop on the film entitled Upstream Color, which is described as a romantic dramatic thriller (a "rom-dram-iller" ?) and was written by Carruth himself who will also direct. Ben LeClair (Nacho Libre, Gentlemen Broncos, Year of the Dog) will produce. Like Primer, the film will also be shot in and around Dallas with production beginning in November and going till the end of January.Upstream Color is said to be currently casting, so if you live in the DFW area and you're an actor, you might want to get in on this. It's kind of a big deal. CHUD also noted that the term "upstream color" may refer to "an esoteric biopharmeceutical term that describes impurities present early in the processing/manufacture of a chemical." Like much of Primer, I don't understand what that means but it is simultaneously blowing my mind and sounds to be on par with Carruth's style.

The site also got their hands on a few character descriptions that went something like this:

Kris – This is the lead part, and beyond involving a severe haircut change in the film, little is said beyond her being intelligent and plain.

Other main roles include Wesley, a composer in his 50s who is also a farmer, as well as Evan, a guy who works in a record shop and sounds a bit like a psychopath.

There are a few secondary roles up for grabs as well: two 12 year olds from the inner city, along with 16-year old name Phoebe and her grandmother Elise, who are described as being very similar souls.

However, despite all of this news revealed today, I personally spoke to someone close to the production who told me that these character breakdowns are a bit inaccurate. According to my unnamed source, there is no record shop in the story and, thus, there is certainly no character that works in a record shop, psychopath or not (along with a few other details that are off or just completely untrue). I'd chalk it up to a casting person botching some of the details on this project.

Most recently, Carruth did some visual effects work on Rian Johnson's upcoming sci-fi Looper, for some of the film's time travel sequences. As for the fate of the aforementioned A Topiary - Carruth's long gestating adventure film about a group of kids and amazing creatures and the secrets of life and all sorts of other mind blowing elements that have had both David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh's names lent to it as producers - my own source is reporting that there are still plans to make that next year as well. Something tells me that after Upstream Color, that may be a little bit easier to make happen.

Find more posts: Development, Movie News

1 Comment


Exciting of course. Also, Primer isn't that hard to get around 90 percentish I think. 🙂

Robert L. Tuva on Oct 12, 2011

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