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Bryan Cranston Writing & Planning To Direct Adaptation Of David Wiltse's Thriller 'Home Again'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 12, 2011 at 8:16AM

Yes, we know we perhaps pump up the cause of Bryan Cranston pretty hard around here, but how can you not get excited by an actor who is not only massively talented, but has also seemed to make a keen decision to do interesting projects? How can you look at a forthcoming lineup of films like this -- “Drive,” “Contagion,” “Red Tails,” “John Carter,” “Rock of Ages,” “Total Recall,” “Argo,” "World War Z" -- and not be impressed? But it looks like the very busy Cranston has another ace up his sleeve. If you thought Bryan Cranston couldn't get any more Cranston-ier, there's this.
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Yes, we know we perhaps pump up the cause of Bryan Cranston pretty hard around here, but how can you not get excited by an actor who is not only massively talented, but has also seemed to make a keen decision to do interesting projects? How can you look at a forthcoming lineup of films like this -- “Drive,” “Contagion,” “Red Tails,” “John Carter,” “Rock of Ages,” “Total Recall,” “Argo,” "World War Z" -- and not be impressed? But it looks like the very busy Cranston has another ace up his sleeve. If you thought Bryan Cranston couldn't get any more Cranston-ier, there's this.

Speaking with Hollywood.com, Cranston reveals he has ambitions to get back in the director's chair. Wait, get back? Yes, Cranston made his debut feature film way back in 1999 wtih "Last Chance" and since then has directed episodes of "Malcolm In the Middle" and "Breaking Bad." But if everything works out, he'll be making his sophomore feature sometime next year. He's currently adapting the thriller "Home Again" by David Wiltse and with writing and directing duties there's not word if he'll star in it too, but it's sounds like a great piece of material. We'll let him explain.

"It’s basically a very strong father-son story, and a murder-mystery. An FBI agent who suddenly quits the department and takes his son and his wife and moves back to his hometown of Cascade, Nebraska, to rekindle family values and pay attention now," he says. "He’s been working for the FBI for years, so he’s been home sporadically. And his son is now sixteen, very sensitive, and looks upon his father like sort of a stranger… And then there’s a murder that happens in the little town that they move to, which kills [the father’s] whole stance on, 'Things are better in these small towns!' And then things unravel, and basically, the father and son come together at the end and save each other emotionally and literally.”

Sounds pretty Coen-esque with a pulpy genre vibe to it with a strong sense of character -- so yeah, it sounds pretty great. As is usual with these kinds of pet projects, development is a struggle and 2012 shooting is likely optimistic given Cranston's busy schedule as it is and his commitment to "Breaking Bad." But it's another interesting development from an actor who seems to be taking all the right steps these days. Here's the synopsis of the book from Amazon:

After wiping out a terrorist gang, FBI agent Peter Ketter is sickened by violence and quits the Bureau. With his wife and adolescent son Michael, Ketter settles in his small Nebraska hometown. Michael records part of the events thereafter, dismayingly different from his father's peaceful dreams. Peter, always sure of himself as a good family man, if not the "puritan" his jeering brother Edward calls him, becomes the insatiable lover of Karen Maust, whose husband Frank has accumulated a fortune from mail-order porn. Burdened by his conscience and troubles involving Michael, Peter remains aloof from the efforts to find the murderer of two young women. When his boyhood friend is the next victim, however, the enraged ex-agent uses illegal tricks to trap the killer. Facing his adultery and law-breaking, Peter knows he may yet solve the riddle of himself as he has solved the crime.

This article is related to: Actors, Bryan Cranston