Since he doesn't seem to be making any movement toward taking the role in The Emperor's Children that I think he'd be perfect for, Joseph Gordon-Levitt needs to find some kind of new job, and right now a chase thriller is apparently calling his name. THR reports that Gordon-Levitt is in "final negotiations" to star in Premium Rush, a drama a New York City bike messenger tracked down by a dirty cop who's after a mysterious envelope that the messenger picked up at Columbia University. Gordon-Levitt, as you've probably guessed by now, would play the bike messenger. David Koepp, who last made the Ricky Gervais vehicle Ghost Town, would be directing.

The Reporter also ventured into some further speculation by mentioning that Gordon-Levitt was considering a role in Looper, the next film from writer-director Rian Johnson, who cast Gordon-Levitt in what was a breakout film for them both, 2005's Brick. It would make perfect sense for Gordon-Levitt to reteam with the director-- he even had a brief cameo in Johnson's 2009 film The Brothers Bloom-- but not so fast. Rian Johnson, on his endlessly informative Twitter account, said that he "hopes" Gordon-Levitt will officially be in the film, "but we're still early in the process." And as for that plot that THR mentions, about a man sent back in time to kill himself? Johnson says it's not even correct.

With Inception coming out this summer and (500) Days of Summer warmly remembered by pretty much everyone on the planet, Gordon-Levitt is right on the threshold of becoming a Big Deal. Working out his schedule must be a pretty insane task right about now, but it seems like we have good reason to hope that both of these will pull through, regardless of how cautious Johnson needs to be.

UPDATE: Johnson has explained, once again via Twitter, that the Looper plot is "basically the exact opposite of what [THR] wrote: hit men are sent their victims from crime orgs in the future." So instead of the situation the Reporter described, in which Gordon-Levitt's character would be sent back from the future in order to kill someone--possibly himself-- in the past, he would be a hit man living in the present, awaiting victims sent from the future. Given that THR's version of the plot made it sound awfully similar to the original Terminator, it's good-- but not particularly surprising-- to learn it's much more original than that.

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