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SXSW: Duncan Jones Calls 'Mute' His 'Don Quixote' & Talks About His Next Cityscape Sci-Fi Project

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 12, 2011 9:58 AM
1 Comment
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Calls His Next Film "Big Sprawling Fun"



SXSW is underway which means we'll be spending the next week or so in Austin catching movies, talking with talent and trying to find space for beer and BBQ somewhere in the there. The festival kicked off last night with Duncan Jones' highly anticipated follow-up to "Moon," the time looping thriller "Source Code." It was received quite well from audiences who hit the screening last night and today and the director and cast ran the press gauntlet answering questions about the film. Naturally, with news arriving just before the festival that the director's long-gestating dream project "Mute" was headed the graphic novel route, the helmer fielded questions about the film as well as plans for a big, expansive follow-up to "Source Code."

"....'Mute' is this perennial, this thing I've been trying to make for a long time I think that's going to be my 'Don Quixote,' its going to be around for years," Jones said, comparing his effort, with some hyperbole, to Orson Welles' never completed film about the man of La Mancha. "Maybe when I'm in my '70s I'll make it, but in the meantime I'm going to make it into a graphic novel -- it worked for Darren Aronofsky (with "The Fountain") and maybe it will rub off on me and I'll get a chance to make it if people option the graphic novel."

Certainly, the project is an interesting one. "Mute" centers on the story of a woman whose disappearance causes a mystery for her partner, a mute bartender who then has to go up against the city’s gangsters including a bumbling pair of villains previously described by Jones himself as “what if two buddies were such good buddies but were the most diabolical bastards they possibly could be?” The film was additionally revealed to “definitely be bigger than ‘Moon’” and feature a budget of “something up to $25 million” as well as a cameo from Sam Rockwell‘s character in “Moon.” Alas it will have to wait, but Jones isn't going to compromise in making the film just to get it onto screen.

"I'm not going to make it just to get the film made," Jones said. "I really, really do believe that all of a sudden for a lot of people, people who have money, it will click why its going to work."

So then, what will be next for the helmer? As was revealed earlier in the week, he's plotting a city-based sci-fi pic that's going to have a scope larger than any project he's done to date.

"I'm currently writing what hopefully will be my next film. Summit are kind enough to fly me around the country to talk about 'Source Code' and while I'm flying I'm in the business class writing, so I can plug in my laptop and get some writing done while I'm flying. So I'm hoping to do that as my next project," Jones revealed about the film. And to be certain, he's ready to do something different from the smaller conceptual boxes of his films so far.

"I absolutely have a desire to break out of that," Jones said of the minimalist, singular settings that have marked "Moon" and "Source Code." "The next film is sci-fi and we've broken out of confined environments, its going to be future city stuff and its big sprawling fun." Sounds very exciting, indeed.

Watch out for more from our interviews with the "Source Code" team and check out the film when its theaters on April 1st. Check out our review of the film. -- reporting by RP

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More: Films, Duncan Jones, Mute, SXSW Film Festival

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1 Comment

  • BradZuhl | March 12, 2011 10:19 AMReply

    So he can't get Mute financed but he's going to get a big, sprawling, future city, sci-fi film financed?

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