A little more about The Double and the film Jake Gyllenhaal would be in talks for

It’s not surprising that the doppelgänger idea was inspirational to many in the past. The subject of a double (mostly a dark one) is indeed fascinating.

Dostoevsky wrote The Double (one of the few Dostoevsky’s works I have yet to read) in 1846:

[The Double] centers on a government clerk who goes mad, obsessed by the idea that a fellow clerk has usurped his identity. It deals with the internal psychological struggle of its main character, Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, who repeatedly encounters someone who is his exact double in appearance but confident, aggressive, and extroverted, characteristics that are the polar opposites to those of the toadying “pushover” protagonist. 

[…] the narrative tone depicts a man whose life is on the verge of destruction due to the sudden appearance of a literal facsimile of his self. This double attempts to destroy the protagonist’s good name […]

and Darren Aronofsky, the director of the film Black Swan, reveals in this behind the scenes video from the DVD that indeed it was the Dostoevsky novella that inspired him:

“I was reading Dostoevsky’s ‘The Double’ which is about a guy who wakes up and his double’s there starting to replace his life, and I was thinking of how to do something with it,” Aronofsky said. “I went to see Swan Lake at the ballet and didn’t know one dancer played two roles — a white swan and a black swan — and it was sort of an ah-ha moment.”

Earlier today, I found out that another director has planned his own adaptation of this novella,  Submarine director Richard Ayoade. The film is in pre-production but part of its cast is already set, namely Jesse Eisenberg in the main role and Mia Wasiowska. As it’s reported here, the film is

[S]et to shoot in the U.K. in spring/summer this year, The Double is inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella of the same name.

And here we are back to the topic: Jake’s (not-yet-confirmed) role in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of another double, that of José Saramago (see my previous post).
Do you think that two films with the same subject being presumably released at a short distance (even ignoring Black Swan that was released in 2010) could possibly have the same impact? (I won’t use the term “success”, I loathe it and it’s a subjective matter, anyway).
I don’t want to sound overly pessimistic, but I hope Jake and Jake’s reps are considering this overlapping of projects on the same subject as being maybe a tad risky.
On a less serious note, I’m debating whether my obsession with Jake’s character in that music video we all know about might be considered, you  know, a touch sick. The sane part of me screams yes of course. But the crazy part that keeps wickedly whispering no it’s ok watch it as many other times as you want is winning.
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2 thoughts on “A little more about The Double and the film Jake Gyllenhaal would be in talks for

  1. I think the problem of two “Double” movies would be bigger if they would be based on the same book. In that case it will be a kind of competition. Or maybe even not. It maybe different vibe, though similar plot. And of course Jesse is not Jake. We will see. Though it may be the reason for Jake to reject the project. But I think that after acting as a totally black character in Time to Dance Jake would love to make dark movie. “Do you think that two films with the same subject… could possibly have the same impact?” – the impact of the movie it’s always unknown until it hits the cinema. I am interested with one movie only.
    I watch the vid from time to time without feeling guilty, cause I notice less killing now, focusing on Jake’s face, mimic, behaviour, on the way it was made. It doesn’t shock me anymore. I rather try to figure out the story behind it, find the reason “Jake” had to kill etc. But I can’t judge how it is with you. I don’t have any intention to go out and kill someone. 😉

    • You’re probably right, mermon, mine was one of those questions that can’t really get an answer. As for the fact that the films would be based on two different novels, it is true but the topic – the doppelganger – would be the same. We’ll see.

      Anyway, I can watch that video a thousand times but I won’t go out and kill anyone either 🙂

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