Earlier this month, our EIC chatted with filmmaking duo Brian Koppelman & David Levien, the screenwriters of "Rounders," "Ocean's Thirteen," "The Girlfriend Experience" and the directing pair behind the forthcoming Michael Douglas-led ensemble drama "Solitary Man" -- the cast is aces, Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker, Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots, Olivia Thirlby, Jenna Fischer, Danny Devito and many more great character actors.
In their round-about way, the pair told us that they were in-line to write yet another, new iteration of the "Bourne 4" script, but obviously Paul Greengrass quit the franchise and all of it is a moot point now.
They also told us about a few other projects they're working on. The duo are working on two projects for Leonardo DiCaprio, one is the previously announced, the New York-based medical thriller, "Beat The Reaper," and the other one is set in the world of online gaming that Dicaprio is "provisionally onboard for."
The pair said that "Beat the Reaper" is complete in script form and they're just at the "beginning process" of writing the latter picture. Levien said that he didn't want to reveal too much about 'Reaper' suggesting you read the Amazon synopsis instead -- it's about a hit man turned medical intern -- but did suggest all the spoilers are in the book as they stuck very faithfully to the novel. "There's sort of a big surprise in the movie, and who knows, it'll probably be one of those things that's in the trailer but Leo plays a young doctor with a very interesting complicated past," he said.
"We love the book," Koppelman said. "The book is great. We completely stuck very closely to the tone, spirit, and feeling of the book. We did make some — you always have to condense and add when you make something a movie — but Josh Bazell's book's great. Hopefully people who love the book will love the movie."
While 'Reaper' seems to be currently in the hands of schedules, financing and moneymen, the creative couple also revealed what they're directing next and it's an adaptation of Levien's own crime novel, "City Of The Sun."
"David has written a couple of novels about a character named Frank Behr, great crime books," Koppelman said, noting it's something they want to do sooner rather than later.
Here's the synopsis:
Paul and Carol Gabriel are devastated when their 12-year-old son, Jamie, disappears on his paper delivery route one morning. Fourteen months later and with the police no closer to finding Jamie, they hire PI Frank Behr, an imposing ex-cop with a checkered past. Behr soon discovers that Jamie's disappearance was no random grab, but part of a larger operation run by Riggi, a real estate tycoon who deals in everything from drugs to stolen children. Reluctantly allowing Paul to accompany him, Behr tracks Riggi's men to Mexico, where he and Paul discover the true extent of Riggi's depravity as they race against the clock to find Jamie. Levien expertly weaves a subplot involving the tragic death of Behr's own young son into the complex kidnapping story, and the moments shared between the two grieving fathers are heartbreaking.Something we neglected to ask, but something the writers told Coming Soon is that their proposed sequel to "Rounders" (a great 1998 John Dahl film starring Ed Norton and Matt Damon set in the world of gambling). And while there is no script, Levien says they have discussed the idea.
"We've talked a lot about doing "Rounders 2" when we were making "Ocean's 13" and we were working with Matt again. We talked about it a lot and Edward came by and we had meetings and we called John Dahl, and he's in to do the sequel. It's just a question of when we're going to do it, when we have the exact angle in."Sounds like way further down the road, but hell, we'd be interested in revisiting those great characters again too. Also, can we ask what happened to Dahl aside from TV? Remember how great "Red Rock West" was?