Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stephen Frears Won't Be Directing The Time Traveller's Wife

Looks like Robert Schwenke has the gig of directing The Time Traveller's Wife. A week or two ago, there was talk that Frears was up for the job but, sadly, that hasn't come to be. Rachel McAdams is, presumably, still attached to star, and of course, it's still an adaptation of the best seller.

All I can hope is that Frears found a better script elsewhere, not that somebody in command thought the Flightplan hack would be a better choice for this project.

Or, indeed, a better choice for anything.

I remember walking out at the end of Flightplan, actually rather impressed with certain elements of the scripting, much of the acting and a lot of the production design, but I was quite concerned with Schwentke's direction. I felt almost as though the film had survived him, rather than been nurtured by him.

Stephen Frears made his movie debut in the early 70s with Gumshoe, and then, for almost a decade and a half, he worked in British TV. Effectively, the British film industry and the British TV industry were the one and same back then (if not also now) and Frears certainly didn't scale down his ambitions or approach because of the smaller screen or narrower aspect ratio. He returned to cinema in the mid 80s with The Hit, and frankly, the rest is history. If it's not history for you, I recommend you spend some time putting Stephen Frears into Netflix or LoveFilm and renting anything that comes up.

Since Alan Clarke passed away, Frears has been the greatest of working British directors (because Stanley Kubrick and Terry Gilliam can't be counted, I'm afraid) and has consistently made interesting films, both for the smaller and larger screen. I'll feel okay taking this radar eye off of The Time Traveller's Wife now and keep watch for news of Frears' next movie instead.

(Unless of course it all goes a bit Weitz-Tucker-Weitz on the project, as per The Golden Compass)

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