Back in 2004 Shane Carruth wrote, directed, produced, edited, composed and starred in a time travel film with a production budget less than what most used cars cost. Seven years later and people the world over are still trying to wrap their heads around his little film. Even if you didn't like Primer, or even if you didn't understand Primer, or even if you liked Primer and still didn't understand it, there's little denying that Shane Carruth is a filmmaker to pay attention to.
Unfortunately for us, Carruth has yet to make a second film. He tried to get a film called A Topiary off the ground, but it never materialized and his post-Primer plans were hazy until it was revealed that he would be contributing in some capacity to Brick director Rian Johnson's own time travel movie, Looper. But now thanks to Renn Brown at CHUD, it looks like we know a bit more about about Carruth's next film.
It's called Upstream Color and is being described as a "romance/drama/thriller," which is a fittingly amorphous label for the inventive director. As for what the title refers to, Brown explains that "upstream color" is a biopharmaceutical term that refers to a (usually undiscovered) chemical impurity that starts in the early stages of manufacturing and carries through to the final product. Does that mean Carruth is tackling the dark side of the biopharmaceutical industry? Possibly, but it could also just be his clever way of telling a story about a woman who has, according to the character descriptions CHUD got a hold of, "been through a traumatic event though she doesn't remember it, but it reveals itself in various ways."
Whatever Upstream Color is ultimately about, it's safe to say this is all good news for fans of Carruth. Not only does he finally have a new film in the works, but its forty-day shoot is being targeted for a November 2011 start date, meaning we could be seeing a new film from the director of Primer as early as 2012.