Alex Proyas to Adapt 'The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag'

April 10, 2012
Source: Deadline

Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag / Alex Proyas

Between his failed launch of both Paradise Lost and Dracula Year Zero, it hasn't been a good run for director Alex Proyas recently. However, the director of Knowing, Dark City and I, Robot is ready to move forward on another project as Red Granite Pictures has announced it will finance and co-produce an adaptation of The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, the novel by Robert Heinlein, with Proyas attached to direct and also adapting the book himself. The project is looking to start shooting sometime this fall in Australia where Proyas and his Mystery Clock Cinema production banner is based.

In the novel, the title character is struck one evening with the realization that he has no memory of what he does during the day. Distraught over his predicament, and particularly concerned that he might be engaged in some nefarious activities, he contacts a husband and wife detective agency and asks them to surreptitiously follow him. The truth takes a dark and ultimately earth-shattering turn as their investigation leads to a series of frightening revelations, beginning with a group of shadowy figures who gravely warn of dire consequences unless the pair immediately cease their inquiry into the nature of Hoag’s identity. That all comes from the press release (via Deadline) for the project, but no matter how official this news is, if we've learned anything from Proyas' recent endeavors, a film isn't real until it's sitting in front of cameras.

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Still upset with Paradise Lost shutdown... it would've been so epic.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Apr 10, 2012


I seriously disagree that it would've been epic.  I think it would've been cheesy and comparable to Legion.

peloquin on Apr 11, 2012


Guess we'll never know... I like to think of Alex Proyas as the director of Dark City (one of my all time faves), not the director of I Robot or Knowing. But yes, he's more of a miss than a hit.  I still think vis visual style would've been (at least) interesting to see in such a film. Legion was weak. 🙂

Isildur_of_Numenor on Apr 11, 2012


Yea, I would've enjoyed seeing Bradley Cooper with a red face and horns too.  

peloquin on Apr 11, 2012


i sort of agree with you and @ad8a0095983d1f2f978bde4869a83689:disqus both. Paradise Lost as source material is so epic in the truest sense of the word that anyone who tried it would probably have come up short. Dark City was smaller in scale but a nicely realised alternate universe. it's one of my faves, too. but it was also a long time ago. could Proyas have handled Milton? the plane and train crash sequences in Knowing were  visually impressive, terrifying and compelling, but the film overall was a disjointed mess that completely fell apart in the third act, if not before. i can see why he was drawn to this new project. 'beginning with a group of shadowy figures who gravely warn of dire consequences...' sounds rather familiar. and not in a good way.

son_et_lumiere on Apr 12, 2012


Yea, since Dark City Proyas failed to impress, except for that visual department, which is not enough. However, it's a shame that such great material isn't adapted into film. It seems no one (studio execs) has the guts to risk anymore. They play it safe (remakes/reboots, sequels/prequels). If Proyas is such a loose cannon - according to some, not me - then why not simply replace him? Oh right, the budget is too big... Anyway, at least this adaptation (Jonathan Hoag) comes together. Or does it? We'll see...

Isildur_of_Numenor on Apr 12, 2012

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