By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 18, 2011 at 2:01AM
We're feeling optimistic about 2011, for a number of reasons. One of the principle reasons is that filming is now underway in Louisiana on "Looper," the long-awaited third film from Rian Johnson. Johnson made one of the great debut films of the Noughties with "Brick," and his follow-up, "The Brothers Bloom," while more divisive, is, in the view of this writer, a charming, inventive con-man piece, and continued to demonstrate, along with some sterling recent TV work on "Terriers" and "Breaking Bad," that Johnson was potentially one of the most exciting filmmakers of his generation.
"Looper," a hard-boiled sci-fi thriller involving professional killers who dispose of victims sent back in time by a crime syndicate in the future, has a tremendous script -- possibly Johnson's best to date -- and an enormously exciting cast, led by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Paul Dano in support. Now, word's broken of more behind-the-scenes talent, which is only going to make us anticipate the project more.
The film's official Twitter account, @loopermovie is publishing on-set pictures throughout production, and a recent one revealed the involvement of Shane Carruth, the director of cult time travel picture "Primer." The picture, which was posted last night (via /Film), was accompanied by the caption 'Shane Carruth is working on "Looper,"' and Badass Digest have confirmed with Johnson that Carruth is going to contribute some visual effects expertise for the film's time-travel sequences.
Despite being a time-travel picture, "Looper" isn't a VFX-heavy film, and Carruth's sensibilities seem perfectly matched to the grimy, low-tech world described in Johnson's script, and we can't wait to see what the pair cook up together. Despite being made for a tiny sum, "Primer" displayed some hugely impressive effects work, and it should ensure that Johnson's budget goes the distance.
Carruth's been mostly MIA since "Primer" was released, but it was revealed last year that he's been working on a new project, "A Topiary." We took a look at the hugely ambitious script last year, and it promised another mind-bender from the director. He's still seeking financing for the project, and hopefully it'll materialize sooner rather than later. The independently-produced "Looper" doesn't yet have a distributor or release date -- our fingers are crossed that it'll see the light of the day, on the festival circuit at least, before the end of the year, although that may be unlikely.