Jake to star in ‘Prisoners’
It’s official, then. From the press release:
LOS ANGELES, CA, October 2, 2012 – Jake Gyllenhaal, will join Hugh Jackman in the gripping thriller PRISONERS to be directed by Denis Villeneuve (Academy Award-nominated “Incendies”) it was announced by Alcon Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.
Written by Aaron Guzikowski (“Contraband”), story revolves around a small-town carpenter named Keller (Jackman) whose young daughter and her best friend are kidnapped. After the cops fail to find them, Keller takes the law into his own hands, but in the process runs up against Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal), a hot shot cop with confidence to burn, assigned to the case.
Production is scheduled to begin in early 2013. Alcon is targeting a Fall 2013 release through its output deal with Warner Bros.
This script has been around for quite a while (early 2009) and was #4 in the 2009 Script Black List:
4. Prisoners By Aaron Guzikowski
What it’s about: When his young daughter and her best friend vanish on Thanksgiving Day, a Christian survivalist named Keller Dover takes matters into his own hands, imprisoning and torturing a suspect whom the police have set free. But does Dover have the wrong man? And if he does, who really has his little girl?
What’s it like: Silence of the Lambs meets Mystic River. A terrifying, riveting read. Vivid, unforgettable characters, a bullet-fast plot, and scenes that mine our deepest psychological fears. Lock the doors and windows (and go to the bathroom) before turning the first page.
At least three actors have been attached to it in the past (Wahlberg, Bale, DiCaprio) and Antoine Fuqua was rumored to direct it. Nothing came out of it and the script rested in the limbo of the unproduced scripts until Hugh Jackman joined the project in March this year, with ‘Incendies’ and ‘An Enemy’ Denis Villeneuve to direct.
I read an insightful and thorough outline of this script written by someone who wasn’t thrilled by the story but I can see its potential nonetheless. Jake plays the 33 yo Detective LOKI (just for the sake of pure curiosity, Loki – in Norse mythology – is a god, which might or might not have something to do with the plot). Hugh Jackman has the leading role as the carpenter whose daughter is kidnapped but judging from what I read in the script outline Jake’s role as the detective on the case is that of a secondary lead.
I hope that after the play wraps up (November 25) and before he starts working on this film, Jake takes a long, much deserved vacation somewhere nice.
Speaking of the play, reviews keep coming (read here, here or here for just a few) and it’s pretty much obvious that the majority of critics share the same bottom line: Jake’s performance is outstanding but the play not so much. Everybody seems to wish Jake would have picked up a better script for his American debut and hope to see him in more stage productions, hopefully with better material. I’ll see for myself very soon and will report about it.
The New Yorker (click on the pics to enlarge and read) goes as far as saying that Jake ‘superbly plays [him]’. Coming from the New Yorker, that’s extremely good. I hope someone is scrupulously collecting these reviews for Jake to read when he’s done with the play. Like he told Jimmy Fallon the other day, his sister Maggie ordered him not to read them now but when he eventually does I bet he’ll get a real kick out of them.
The New Yorker has something to say about END OF WATCH, too (which is getting more and more enthusiastic reviews and is among the 5 must-sees at the London Film Festival, according to GQ British mag): Jake and Jaime FitzSimons (David Ayer’s friend and real cop who was assigned to Jake for his training) visit the New York Police Museum and talk about their experience.
Which of your movie sets did you bring your kids to?
Oh, I brought them to all the sets. They came to every set all the time. I didn’t let them see a lot of the movies. In fact, I don’t think they’ve seen all the movies from when they were little. Maybe more recently, because they were grown up movies, but any sets, they came to all the sets, they grew up on sets.
Was there any doubt they would go into the business?
Oh, I never thought for a second they would. It was never anything I thought of. We just didn’t think about that. They were kids. They were doing whatever they were doing. I didn’t understand that they were absorbing everything that was going on and it’s amazing to see how much they took in, but there was never any idea that they should do anything but what they wanted to do. Never for a moment. There wasn’t really even time to consider, “Well, are you going to become a doctor?” because they were so young when they started acting and then it just took off.
Have you seen End of Watch yet?
Oh yeah, I saw it. I’m actually in New York right now. I just saw Jake’s play as well. Yeah, I saw End of Watch. It’s terrific and he’s great in this play. I don’t know how it happened but my kids are very talented.
As a father of grown-up children, when they’re so successful that they make so many movies, do you still see every one and take pride in it?
Oh yeah, absolutely. Oh yeah.
On a silly note, the resemblance with his dad was pretty apparent when he was a kid, wasn’t it?
Updated to add this NBC New York Q&A with Annie Funke. She saw End of Watch too.
NBC4NY: You appeared in “Hairspray” on Broadway, but this is the first time you’re originating a stage role. How is it different?
FUNKE: It’s intimidating and freeing, at the same. I’ve always done musicals and cast recordings, and so you can listen to other people or watch their performances, first. But to just have “the words” and the director has been an interesting experience, to be able to go with my instincts and develop the character from Day One. In any given scene, there are a million different ways something can go. I’m still using someone else’s words, but I’ve had a lot more liberties in the ways I’ve found to say them.
NBC4NY: During rehearsals, director Michael Longhurst encouraged Jake to get in your face, to really show his concern for you, poorly presented though it may be: “Sit here and go home and eat y’way through half the —-ing house…,” he says.
FUNKE: Terry’s trying to get to Anna and she’s not opening up, so he starts pushing her buttons and it breaks her. It’s the first time we see her out of her cocoon, so we did an exercise. The director said to Jake, “Every time Terry is confronting Anna, in some way physicalize that, with a touch or a tap or a poke.” It opened up the scene in a different way, so in addition to the power of words, you feel what he’s doing with those words. I felt invaded by it, but it helped us to find the meaning of that scene.
NBC4NY: The theater community is insular. What went through your mind when you heard you’d be working opposite someone who travels in an entirely different orbit of celebrity.
FUNKE: I had seven callbacks, and the final two were with Jake, which was both great and intimidating … to see a famous movie star who you feel like you know, because you’ve seen their body of work. I had that moment of “Oh my gosh. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.” And then 30 seconds later it was like, “Well, this is where the hard part starts.” To walk in there and see Jake and Brian is intimidating. I had no idea what to expect from Jake, because who knows what celebrity is like. … I was instantly bowled over by his intelligence and his generosity as an actor. He’s up for trying anything.
NBC4NY: So …. bald Jake or hairy Jake?
FUNKE: Ha. I went to see “End of Watch” today. I realized I’d never known him without facial hair. I would say … Jake with hair. But he can pull off a bald head very well.
Don’t you love how these guys draw Jake’s eyes?
These are better, though