Old School and Due Date director Todd Phillips is getting super serious on us with an upcoming adaptation of the recently released Linwood Barclay novel, Trust Your Eyes. Phillips is busy completing the third installment in the Hangover series, but he's putting the blockbuster boozer aside to work on the thriller remake that centers on a schizophrenic man and a deadly conspiracy, according to Variety.
The reclusive Thomas becomes obsessed with a Google Maps-esque website called Whirl360.com. (The real website leads to Barclay's homepage, but the film studio may transform the page into a viral marketing hub later on — we're guessing, anyway.) While exploring the streets and cities around the world he's too terrified to experience firsthand, he sees something strange. In downtown New York City, an image shows what could be a woman being murdered. Is it just another paranoid vision, or a horrible wrongdoing? Thomas becomes entangled with the grisly, gripping mystery. There's a book trailer promoting Barclay's work if you're curious about the story's tone. Can you support Phillips' foray into dramatic territory?
Donnie Darko writer-director Richard Kelly will be taking on a Nicolas Cage courtroom drama, according to Coming Soon. Amicus will see the filmmaker penning the script and directing Cage as a First Amendment attorney named Rodney A. Smolla who took on a complicated homicide case. The circumstances were described by Smolla in the book Deliberate Intent: A Lawyer Tells the True Story of Murder by the Book. Here's the official rundown of what happened:
"Early in 1992, Lawrence Horn hired a contract killer to execute his ex-wife and his severely brain-damaged son. On March 3, 1992, the man he hired, James Perry, traveled to Silver Spring, Maryland, and murdered Horn's ex-wife and child and the boy's nurse. Perry used a book called Hit Man as an instruction manual for the murders. The subsequent criminal trial became known as the Hit Man case, and after Horn and Perry were convicted of murder, the victims' families surprised the nation by filing an unprecedented wrongful death suit against Paladin Press, publisher of Hit Man. In a controversial turn of events, Paladin was being blamed for the murders.
Distinguished attorney Rod Smolla, First Amendment expert and vigorous advocate of free speech, was approached to represent the victims' families in the civil suit against Paladin. Smolla initially declined, but after reading Hit Man and likening it to 'a loaded pistol or a vial of poison,' he decided to take on the case, even though it seemed to go against his abiding belief in the First Amendment. Smolla argued that if Paladin Press knew and intended that its murder manual Hit Man would be used in the actual planning and execution of contract killings, Paladin was not entitled to immunity under the First Amendment. In an appeal that stunned the legal world, Smolla's argument prevailed and was affirmed by the Supreme Court. Deliberate Intent is the dramatic story of the events behind this landmark case--a story that includes murder, trials and appeals and, most important, raises fascinating and difficult questions about our most cherished freedom."
It's a fascinating, ambitious and twisted tale that should be right at home in Kelly and Cage's wheelhouse. We're also excited to see what kind of insane wig Cage will be fitted with this go-round. Amicus starts shooting in Atlanta in January and is being produced independently through Darko Entertainment.