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Writer-director Nicholas Jarecki broke through successfully this year with his narrative debut Arbitrage. The Richard Gere-fronted financial thriller shot in New York in the spring of 2011, and the following winter was cheered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it made its world premiere. Now available on Video on Demand and in select theaters, Arbitrage is boasting impressive box office totals its opening weekend, making over $2 million while showing in just 197 theaters. And with Gere's performance as a harried hedge fund magnate brewing award season buzz, this indie's profits are poised to skyrocket.
So what's next for Jarecki? Well, he told The Playlist he's aiming high, developing a crime drama that pulls influences from two intimidating classics of the genre: Roman Polanski's Chinatown and Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation. Talking specifics he revealed:
"It's a detective story set in Los Angeles that deals with a young man who's a surveillance expert, who gets involved in a conspiracy involving electric cars, and it's got a romance story in it, and it owes a debt to Chinatown."
With the story centering on a surveillance expert, the superficial similarities to The Conversation are clear, but the allusion to a romance in connection to Chinatown implies this love story won't have a happy ending. The mention of "electric cars" suggests this untitled follow-up may be set in the modern-day, which should help keep production costs down. Still, he wasn't inclined to share specifics on this will-be crime drama, partially because it's still being developed:
"I'm not so fast at writing. I've been at it about five months, and hoping to be done by the end of the year with the script, and then maybe we can make it next year."
Of course, if this buzz for Arbitrage pays out into the form of awards and Oscar nods, Jarecki not only will find his second feature much easier to finance, but also have a whole new world of acclaim-seeking actors eager to take his calls.