Yes, it's those same familiar names all over again. This time they're coming up for a project we figured was stuck in development hell, but we're surprised and delighted to see some movement.
THR reports that Doug Liman's long-gestating, untitled Moon project is moving forward and beginning to find a cast, but Jake Gyllenhaal, long attached to the film won't be boarding. Instead, Andrew Garfield, Emile Hirsch and Chris Pine have all met to take over the lead part and yes, your eyes don't deceive you, two of those three names also were slated on the "Akira" shortlist yesterday (Hollywood knows what it likes, and what young actors can get films made). But that's not all, a female lead is also being sought and it's a bit more of a diverse group, though many of these names have also been tossed around the tentpole ring for various projects over the past few months and they include Rosario Dawson, Megan Fox, Rachel McAdams, Eva Mendes, Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde.
The picture is about as high concept as they come following a group of renegade space employees, led by an Eastern European woman (though we'd guess the nationality might change depending on who they get to sign on), who are assembling a bunch of stolen space equipment to get to the Moon to steal an energy source, but there is one last thing they need to grab before they can leave: an ex-NASA employee.
It sounds great, but we're a bit worried about the battery of writers who have tackled this thing. Previously the project was under the pen of Liman and John Hamburg ("I Love You, Man") before Mark Bowden (writer of "Black Hawk Down" book) took a pass at it, and then Dan Mazeau ("Bruno"), followed by the film's producer Simon Kinberg ("xXx: State Of The Union"). Ken Nolan (the movie "Black Hawk Down") was the latest scribe tasked with the movie, but that was two years ago, so it appears he's finally locked it down.
And while Liman recently added to his plate a biopic about Morris Abraham “Two-Gun” Cohen, it looks like the Moon project has taken the pole position. So if he can get his cast in place -- Paramount is not greenlighting anything until they see who the leads are, so don't bet on an Emile Hirsch/Megan Fox pairing making this thing fly -- the plan is to start shooting the film at the end of the summer.
Of the many projects on Liman's plate, this is certainly one -- along with "Attica" perhaps -- that we're most excited about. As for "All You Need Is Kill," it's still at Warner Bros. but it's not a priority project. Liman is a big name, and shouldn't have any problems attracting the talent, so we hope this Moon flick can get into orbit.