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Michael Haneke Considered 'Blood Meridian,' Has Epic Sci-Fi Gambling Movie He Wants To Make

by Christopher Bell
December 22, 2010 4:14 AM
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Who would expect anything other than frustrating dissent and people spouting derogatory terms when navigating IMDB message boards? The answer is practically no one, but that doesn't mean we don't frequent them from time to time -- nerd lingo would call it "lurking" -- because sometimes, news falls through the cracks. And yes, we just alluded to IMDB forums being below a cracked surface. Moving on…

On the Michael Haneke page it was mentioned that, in an interview earlier this fall with Austrian weekly magazine Falter, the director had expressed interest in not only making a western, but in adapting Cormac McCarthy's celebrated "Blood Meridian" and that he has a script for a twelve-part sci-fi TV series that no one wants to bank. Yeah, the article is a bit old, but it's definitely an intriguing bit of "what if?" and the prospect of a Haneke dipping his toes in a western or sci-fi pic -- in his own unique way of course -- is something worth imagining.

Though Google Translator makes much of it seem like gibberish, we were able to skim through and find the juicy stuff we wanted. In reference to the western, Haneke mentioned that Warner Bros. had courted him circa his eventual remake of "Funny Games" and asked what kind of movie he would be interested in making. "I replied, a Western.' I read a great book by Cormac McCarthy, but it was too bloody. It didn't interest me. There was one battle after another… I'd rather have a small film with a few cast members." The book is, of course, "Blood Meridian," which at various times has had John Hillcoat and Todd Field circling the director's chair (the project remains in development). We'd wager that after "Funny Games" made a measly $8 million worldwide, they'd never humor the thought nowadays as they see him much like this. 'Tis a shame.

As for the science-fiction tale, Haneke explains that he has a script sitting in his drawer, a twelve-part television series that is still seeking someone to back it. "No one will make it. It concerns gambling in human history, from the stone age to the beginning of the technological age." Sounds like it could be interesting in his hands, though we can totally see why the networks aren't biting. Keep in mind that originally "The White Ribbon" was written as a television series but whittled down when he decided it to make it a film instead. That said, non-action science fiction movies are too costly for studios to....gamble on.

Aside from the news bits, the rest of the interview is more or less a rewording of older ones you can easily find in English. Regardless, the director treks on and will be shooting the aging drama "These Two" early next year, likely with an eye for Cannes 2012. Until then, we leave you with two fun facts from the interview: the director loves both "Blade Runner" and "Unforgiven."

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More: Foreign Directors, Michael Haneke

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