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We'd Watch This: Kimberley Peirce Reveals Abandoned Hollywood Murder Mystery With Hugh Jackman & Evan Rachel Wood

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist September 27, 2013 at 9:18AM

The film scene has gone too long without seeing Kimberly Peirce's name up on a screen — five years since the release of the director's second film, “Stop-Loss,” and nine years before that with her acclaimed 1999 debut, “Boys Don't Cry.” But while the latest occasion for Peirce behind the camera guides her down a new avenue into horror, helming a remake of “Carrie” starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, there were many intriguing directions explored in the years before it, as a recent profile reveals.
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Kimberley Peirce Hugh Jackman Evan Rachel Wood William Desmond Taylor

The film scene has gone too long without seeing Kimberly Peirce's name up on a screen — five years since the release of the director's second film, “Stop-Loss,” and nine years before that with her acclaimed 1999 debut, “Boys Don't Cry.” But while the latest occasion for Peirce behind the camera guides her down a new avenue into horror, helming a remake of “Carrie” starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, there were many intriguing directions explored in the years before, as a recent profile reveals.

new piece in the New York Times chronicles Peirce's return to the screen, as well as her intensive research process and many stalled projects. One of these almost came to fruition in 2000, when Pierce first heard about the unsolved 1922 murder case of silent film director and actor William Desmond Taylor, and crafted it into a script called “Silent Star.” Packaging it for DreamWorks, she grew very involved — to the point where she believes she even solved the mystery — but as ever, the inexplicable turns of Hollywood interfered. 

Steven Spielberg loved it,” Peirce explains. “I had Hugh Jackman, Evan Rachel Wood and Ben Kingsley cast. We had a proposed budget of $30 million. But then DreamWorks ran the numbers, and there was a $10 million gap. I said, 'I'll cut $10 million.' And they said, 'But we don't want you to do that, because the $20 million version wouldn't be lavish enough.' Crazy, right?”

Pierce took little time to grieve for the project, instead recovering immediately with with the script for “Stop-Loss,” a incisive drama starring Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as American soldiers returning from Iraq. Because of this, Pierce felt the film was rushed into production and released “on the wrong side of time,” but soon after she pitched several other ideas including a queer romantic sex comedy and an undercover crime thriller. '

Both are currently stalled in development, but with “Carrie” heading to theatres quite soon on October 18th, we'll see if its reception can bring to life any more of the unique ideas bursting forth from Pierce's mind. Or maybe she can dust off that "Silent Star" script again, because that sounds like a movie we'd love to see.

This article is related to: Kimberly Peirce, Evan Rachel Wood, Hugh Jackman, Ben Kingsley


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