Update: Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Looper
Rian Johnson captured my interest with Brick (Filmstalker review), a superb film that showed what a great writer and director he is, but it was ages after that he began talking about his science fiction project called Looper.
However it wasn't until the other day that we heard who was in negotiations to star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the lead from the excellent Brick is set to team up with the writer/director once again.
"It's called Looper…It's sci-fi, but it's very much -- well, I think people toss out Philip Dick sci-fi when they mean 'small, dark' sci-fi. Although, when I think of Philip Dick's books, it's something very different. I think people are confusing it with the movie Blade Runner…
…To me, it's a lot more like the first Terminator…It's very sci-fi, but it's very character-based and very concentrated. It's very different from the Terminator movies, but it's like the first Terminator in that time travel is involved with it, but only as a plot device…
…It's really violent and dark."
Then back in April 2009 he gave us a little more, when he said:
“...a huge financial collapse of some sort...really violent and dark...
...It's not like Minority Report, we’re not dealing with a ton of crazy technology. And the time travel aspect of it is similar to the way time travel is used in the first Terminator, where it's part of the setup but it’s not a part of the ongoing story...
...The point of this is to tell a story and keep people watching. So it becomes a balance of narrative vs. information...
...They travel backwards but, like I said, the first Terminator thing is very apt. An element has travelled back from the future, but our entire story takes place in our 'present day,' which is 30 years from now.”
Now the story from The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision gives us a little more again:
Looper is set during a future in which time travel has been invented, with operatives sent back to the present to assassinate criminals. Gordon-Levitt will play a man sent back to kill himself.
What? Now that does sound cool. Why would he willingly go back to kill himself? Is it willingly? It raises so many questions and conundrums and I'm loving it. It's brilliant when a film or a story does that.
Going on the strength of Brick alone, I'd be willing to buy a ticket right now. Let's hope that Gordon-Levitt gets the role.
Update: Rian Johnson has revealed more on the plot of Looper. According to the man himself in an interview with Cinematical through the excellent Row Three, the story is much more than you'd first expect.
”Looper is a time travel movie, set in a near future where time travel doesn’t exist but will be invented in a few decades. It’s pretty dark in tone, much different from Bloom, and involves a group of killers (called Loopers) who work for a crime syndicate in the future. Their bosses send their targets hogtied and blindfolded back in time to the Loopers, and their job is to simply shoot them in the head and dispose of the body. So the target vanishes from the future and the Loopers dispose of a corpse that doesn’t technically exist, a very clean system. Complications set in from there. I can’t wait to make it, I’m a big sci-fi fan and it’s going to be a fun world to play in. Fingers crossed.”
Now that sounds superb. Couple that with the previous information we have and there's something rather mind bending about the whole plot.