By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 25, 2011 at 10:23AM
Bryan Singer & Guy Ritchie's "Excalibur" Projects Are Dead
It looks like Neil Burger is finally seeing some dividends after a decade or so in Hollywood. He burst onto the scene with "Interview With The Assassin" in 2002, but four years his sophomore effort, the magician drama "The Illusionist" was overshadowed by another similarly themed movie that came out the same year, none other than Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige." By the time Burger got to his Iraq war drama "The Lucky Ones," audiences had already cooled on the genre but this year, he finally struck gold with "Limitless," the sci-fi tinged thriller that surprised everyone by earning over $150 million worldwide. The success of that film landed Burger his first bonafide tentpole, replacing David O. Russell on the video game adaptation "Uncharted" and now he's adding another project to his growing slate of films, with an Oscar nominated writer in tow.
Jeff Guinn's non-fiction book "Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde," will be adapted for the big screen by "Up In The Air" scribe Sheldon Turner, and Burger is now attached to direct according to Deadline. We don't have to remind you who Bonnie and Clyde were or tell you about the famous 1967 film with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway do we? Didn't think so. So what makes this one different? According to the claims made in Guinn's book, Clyde was sexually abused in prison while Bonnie may have been a prostitute before jumping on board the crime spree. It also suggests that they weren't quite the criminal masterminds one might think, as they lacked the brains to pull off professional bank jobs, relying on robbing small stores and businesses instead.
For Turner, it's not his first time down the true crime path. Late last winter it was revealed he was penning the gangster pic "Big Tuna" for Michael Mann, but word on that has since gone quiet. More recently, Turner has been setting up his directorial debut "By Virtue Fall" and earned a contested credit on this summer's "X-Men: First Class."
We dig Turner and we're definitely glad to see Burger being rewarded for his hit and while we're not quite sure we need another movie about the Depression era bandits, if they can find a fresh angle on it, we're in. But this news also brings some bad tidings with it, as Warner Bros. only has room for one fantasy swordplay pic in their schedule and they've put the kibosh on two separate "Excalibur" projects being shepherded by Guy Ritchie and Bryan Singer. Could this mean Ritchie's rumored return to "Sgt. Rock" is more of a possibility? Stay tuned...