Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Duncan Jones Explains Why His Sci-Fi Film 'Mute' Is Such A Difficult Movie To Make

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage March 27, 2011 at 8:05AM

Lead Character Won't Speak At All In Film -- Hence The TitleWith his sophomore effort "Source Code" set to open Friday, director Duncan Jones is in the midst of some serious press promotion rounds. The filmmaker is currently traveling around the country to introduce advanced screenings of the sci-fi actioneer everywhere from SXSW (where we first caught the film) to last Friday at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. After the screening, Jones was asked about the status of his long gestating film "Mute," which was recently announced to be made into a graphic novel. Jones gave a variation on the same answer he's been giving recently, but explained exactly why his future noir is a very difficult film to find financing for, even getting into a few minor spoilers, but as our subhead suggests, the title of the film -- and the semi-known logline -- does tend to give things away a bit.
3

Lead Character Won't Speak At All In Film -- Hence The Title



With his sophomore effort "Source Code" set to open Friday, director Duncan Jones is in the midst of some serious press promotion rounds. The filmmaker is currently traveling around the country to introduce advanced screenings of the sci-fi actioneer everywhere from SXSW (where we first caught the film) to last Friday at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. After the screening, Jones was asked about the status of his long gestating film "Mute," which was recently announced to be made into a graphic novel. Jones gave a variation on the same answer he's been giving recently, but explained exactly why his future noir is a very difficult film to find financing for, even getting into a few minor spoilers, but as our subhead suggests, the title of the film -- and the semi-known logline -- does tend to give things away a bit.

"I wont belabor the point but 'Mute' is a very difficult sell," he said. "There's two main problems with 'Mute' that make it a difficult film to get made: one it's a science fiction film that doesn't rely on a particular science fiction conceit or idea. It's a film noir that just happens to take place in the future. So for film investors its like, 'Why are we setting this film in the future? Can't we just do it 'now'?' But it's like, 'No, that's not the point.' And secondly, and this one I completely understand. When you're trying to get a film made, especially these days at a budget, and by a budget I mean more than $5 million dollars like we did 'Moon,' you need an actor of a certain level to bring in the financing to make the financiers feel confident the films going to make enough money to make it all back."

Jones has been developing the film for years but in order to get the film made he'll need more than just a studio willing to put up the financing. He'll also need an A-list actor willing to play a risky part that requires him not to speak throughout the entire film. "To find an actor who is willing to put their career on the line, cause they're doing that every time they do a movie, for a main protagonist who doesn't talk at all, is difficult understandably." With the star system in full decline, there are probably only a handful of actors who fit that description, and even then it's not a sure thing. (Even with Tom Cruise attached, Guillermo Del Toro couldn't get "At The Mountains Of Madness" off the ground.) Apparently financiers have shown some interest but Jones isn't interested in compromising his vision. "I'm not so keen to get it made that I'm willing to rewrite 'Mute' for the mute to talk. Although it has been suggested, 'Can't it just be voiceover?' [The answer is] no."

Although there's no word yet on who he'll be collaborating with on the graphic novel or when it will be released, the filmmaker seems determined to see the project realized in at least one medium. "So what we're going to try to do is make it as a graphic novel first, which seems to be the way to get things made these days. And also for those people who are interested in seeing 'Mute,' even if I don't get a chance to make it until I'm in my 80's, at least people will get a chance to see it for themselves in one form. In the meantime I'm going to do another science fiction film anyways." That other film is the aforementioned city-based science fiction film that will allow Jones to "do all the geeky things he would want [from one of those kinds of films].” We can't wait.

"Source Code" is in theaters this Friday.

This article is related to: Films, Duncan Jones, Source Code, Mute


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates