It's hard to believe that it was just over a year ago that "Blue Valentine" premiered at Sundance to rave reviews, kicking off one helluva year for director Derek Cianfrance and the picture's stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The film became a favorite at festivals around the world, racked up critical acclaim and awards season recognition. And with the relationship drama making a final hurrah at the upcoming Oscars where the "Blue Valentine" team will be crossing their fingers for Best Actress nominee Michelle Williams, Derek Cianfrance is looking to the future and his next project.
Back in December, it was revealed that Cianfrance and Gosling would be reteaming for a project called, "The Place Beyond The Pines." Not much was known about the film at the time other then it was a Jack London-inspired tale about "fathers and guns, and [featured] motorcycles and guns in it," the director said. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with the Cianfrance and he let us in on some more details about the drama which sounds like an excitingly ambitious undertaking.
"It's a film that I started writing about four years ago," Cianfrance said. "Right before my son Cody was born, this idea came to me about the transformative power of fatherhood and the idea of what happens though generations, the things that get passed down. It's very much inspired by the books of Jack London -- it's kind of a Darwinistic idea of survival through ancestry." London was best known for his gritty and vivid tales of the outdoors, and the harsh conditions and emotions that faced both man and animal alike whose influence should make an interesting impression on Cianfrance's film. And while the "The Place Beyond The Pines" will boast a large thematic scope, it seems the plot will be just as raw and intimate as "Blue Valentine" coupled with some intriguing genre elements.
"Ryan's going to play Luke, a motorcycle stunt rider who finds out he has a baby and he tries to become a father," Cianfrance said about Gosling's character in the film. We did a bit more digging and in an interview with E! producer Jamie Patricof reveals that Gosling is planning to do his own stunts in a role that will see him riding a bike found in those huge round steel cages found at the circus. "He'll take circus motorcycle lessons," Patricof said adding, "I can guarantee you he'll want to do his own stunts in the cages. I'm waiting for that call from him going, 'I'm going to take my motorcycle lessons now.'"
And if that doesn't sound awesome enough, Cianfrance added, "It's kind of an epic movie. It takes place over a couple of generations and it's kind of a crime story, kind of a mystery. I've had people tell me they feel like its 'The Deer Hunter' meets 'The Godfather.'"
As for when this will all get rolling Cianfrance told us, "We're in the middle of financing right now, we're looking to shoot this summer." If everything comes together, plans are for the film to shoot in Schenectady, New York.
So, an epic film, with the vibe of two giants of '70s America cinema about a motorcycle stunt rider coming to grips with fatherhood with a crime drama and mystery intertwined? Yes, please. It's sounds fantastic and we can't wait to see what fruit the next Cianfrance/Gosling pairing will bear. But for now if you haven't seen "Blue Valentine" please do yourself a favor and get to your nearest theater now. We'll have more from our interview with Derek Cianfrance in the coming days.