By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 4, 2013 at 1:18PM
As the solid ratings for the dumber-than-a-bag-of-especially-stupid-rocks Kevin Bacon-starring procedural "The Following" have proven, serial killers are enduring draws in popular culture. But while you can barely change the channel on TV without glimpsing some one-time big-screen star wading through a bloody crime scene, they're not what they once were at the movies. There have been great serial killer movies of late ("Zodiac," "The Snowtown Murders"), but their bleak take on the subject matter saw them draw small audiences, while more mainstream fare like "Alex Cross" and "The Raven" were, well, dreadful.
But still, the takings of "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Seven" were massive enough that it's always going to be tempting fare for producers, and a big-name actor has signed on to star in one such serial killer flick that's been in the works for longer than most, as Deadline report that Colin Farrell is in final negotiations to join the already-on-board Anthony Hopkins in the thriller "Solace."
The film's been in the works for well over a decade, starting off as a spec script by Ted Griffin ("Ocean's Eleven") and Sean Bailey (now a producer at Disney), which New Line attempted to turn into a "Seven" sequel that would have seen Morgan Freeman reprise his role. It eventually left the studio, and over the years Peter Morgan and James Vanderbilt are among the names who did rewrite work, while Shekhar Kapur and Mark Pellington were both attached to direct at various points.
The plot revolves around an FBI agent (Farrell) who enlists he help of a retired doctor (Hopkins) to track down a killer who, at least in early drafts, was seemingly psychic (Deadline don't mention it, so rewrites may have excised that element). Now being sold at the Berlin film market by FilmNation, the film will now be directed by Afonso Poyart, the Brazilian helmer behind actioner "2 Rabbits."
It sounds pretty generic on the page, but hopefully the script contains surprises that are worthy of two such impressive actors (who, admittedly, have signed on to more than their fare share of crap over the years). If anything, it can only be better than the last time these two actors teamed up, on Oliver Stone's "Alexander." There's no firm word on when it'll film, but first we'll see if these two can finally pull the project out of development hell.