Rian Johnson’s Looper was one of the more interesting films of 2012, but it had been kicking around in the filmmaker’s brain for nearly a decade before it hit theaters. The time-travel tale, which finds Joseph Gordon-Levitt tasked with killing his future self (played by Bruce Willis), first came into existence way back in 2002.
Johnson has now given fans something of an early holiday gift by releasing the original four-page treatment for the film that he wrote way back in the early days of George W. Bush’s first presidency. He explains a bit about how it came to be and what he intended in a short preface.
“At the time I intended to film it, just with a video camera and a few friends, but we never did and it sat in a drawer for seven years. It’s presented here for the curious, exactly as I wrote it 10 years ago.”
The filmmaker explains that he started writing short ideas down (that could be made for almost nothing) while he was trying – and failing – to get Brick financed. He says “it’s both very different and very similar to what we ended up with on-screen,” which is an accurate assessment. Had Looper never made it as a feature film, it’s easy to see it as a great novel based on the strength of this sketch. Luckily, Johnson did get to make the movie.
Check it out at Johnson’s Looper movie Tumblr.
More: Watch the Freaky Short Rian Johnson Made While He Was Writing 'Looper'