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The Crash formula of telling several stories about unrelated people whose lives all revolve around the same theme has been repeated so many times since that movie won Best Picture that it's become a played-out genre all to itself. Crash writer and director Paul Haggis, in his defense, has avoided repeating the formula, instead turning to the straightforward drama In the Valley of Elah and the forthcoming thriller The Next Three Days.

But wait! It's not too late for the Crash mastermind to return to the well. According to The Los Angeles Times, Haggis is currently writing a script called Third Person, about three couples living around the globe and focusing on the romance of all the stories. Reporter Steven Zeitchik, bless him, told Haggis it sounded like Valentine's Day and He's Just Not That Into You, to which Haggis responded, "Yes, it's a little like those. But darker. Much, much darker." So maybe that's a good sign?

Haggis plans to develop the film outside the studio system, which means Third Person could be making its way around festivals before too long. Really, with just three central stories to work with the movie runs far less of a risk of venturing into overblown Crash story-- Babel used the same formula and worked well, though then again Hereafter did it recently and was a mess. I just wish Haggis wouldn't return to the interlinked story and aim for something more new, especially since from what I'm hearing The Next Three Days works really well. He hasn't even been directing films for that long; isn't it a little early for him to start repeating himself?