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For a director as brilliant as Stanley Kubrick was, it is somewhat stunning how few films he actually made during his career. Making his first feature length film Fear and Desire in 1953, and working almost literally to the day he died (the final cut of Eyes Wide Shut was delivered four days beforehand), Kubrick only made 13 films during a 46 year career, averaging only one film every three-and-a-half years. Compare this to, say, Steven Spielberg, who has averaged one film just every 1.3 years since 1974, and he almost begins to look lazy (for those curious, Steven Soderbergh makes a movie every .95 years). Anybody who knows anything about Kubrick, however, knows that he was quite the opposite of lazy and spent years on individual projects in favor of quality of quantity. There are few that could say that this didn't pan out for him, but with his obsessive nature, it's understood that some projects just fell through the cracks. One of those projects was Lunatic At Large.
Discovered back in 1999 by Kubrick's son-in-law while his estate was being settled, the script (which was actually more an 80-page treatment) was a collaboration between Kubrick and pulp writer Jim Thompson (who is best known in the film world for having written The Grifters and the upcoming The Killer Inside Me). Now, after 50 years of waiting in a trunk, the film is moving into production and has its two leads.
Via their Twitter account, Production Weekly has revealed that Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson, who will be starring together in the upcoming Iron Man 2, have signed on to the project. This is not the first time that the film has come close to getting made; most recently in 2006, unknown writer Stephen Clarke finished the script and unknown director Chris Palmer was set to direct. Rockwell and Johansson are likely to play the leads, who are described in a New York Times article as "Johnnie Sheppard, an ex-carnival worker with serious anger-management issues, and Joyce, a nervous, attractive barfly he picks up in a Hopperesque tavern scene." The story itself is a mystery about an escaped axe-murderer whom the characters must pick out of a group of equally suspicious suspects.
Since 2006 it is likely that the project has changed hands, and likely more reputable ones (after all, this is a Kubrick script we are talking about here). The whole concept of another film from the great director - though without his direction - is tremendously exciting and perhaps it will wash away the bad taste left by the Cruise-Kidman disaster that was Eyes Wide Shut.