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Fans of Joe Cornish’s urban alien invasion flick Attack the Block have been waiting patiently for the British filmmaker’s sophomore directorial effort, and while it looked like he was going to be adapting Royden Lepp’s acclaimed graphic novel Rust as his next project, he dropped out a few weeks ago with no rhyme nor reason. According to TheWrap, his vacancy will soon be filled, as Rio director Carlos Saldanha is in negotiations to take over the reins. While Saldanha is a more established filmmaker, albeit within the animation genre, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed by this decision.
Should he take the job, he’d be directing this Genre Films production from a screenplay written oddly enough by Aline Brosh McKenna, who has written such films as The Devil Wears Prada, We Bought a Zoo and the upcoming Annie remake. Saldanha got his start co-directing Twentieth Century Fox’s Ice Age and Robots before going solo with Ice Age 2: The Meltdown and its sequel. Here’s hoping the disparate careers of director and screenwriter will be a successful collaboration here.
Rust: Visitor in the Field, which this film will be adapted from, was published in 2011 by Archaia Entertainment, and is the first of two volumes following the young, mysterious Jet Jones. A family friendly story that has seen comparisons to Steven Spielberg’s seminal E.T. and Joe Johnston’s underrated 1991 adventure The Rocketeer, the story takes place on the farm of the Taylor family, where the jetpacked Jones crashes into a barn while being chased by a huge decommissioned war robot. The Taylor’s oldest son, Roman, is trying to keep the family in tact after a global war has left the area devastated, and he is the only one who believes that Jones and his secrets may be exactly what the family needs to survive.
It will be interesting to see how successfully Saldanha can make the switch from CGI animations to live-action, even though there are clearly going to be some CGI elements involved in Rust. While I haven’t really enjoyed any of the animations the director has made in the past, it’s more because I didn’t enjoy the stories. I thinkRio and the Ice Age films are pretty gorgeous and the onscreen action is never stale or motionless, which bodes well for an adventure like this. Beyond just Rio, he’s also responsible for the sequel, which comes out on April 11, 2014.
Below is a fanmade trailer for Rust which lays the story out for anyone still confused. Here’s hoping they get these negotiations worked out so we can see some jetpacks and giant robots in theaters by next year.