Director Joe Carnahan on upcoming projects with Liam Neeson

Speaking to Vulture yesterday, director Joe Carnahan talked about filming THE GREY and his upcoming slate of projects, most of which have been long-gestating. The interesting bit is that Carnahan has a role for his THE GREY star Liam Neeson in mind for at least two of those projects.

The first project he mentioned was the in-development-hell adaptation of James Ellroy's novel WHITE JAZZ, which follows the exploits of a corrupt L.A. detective/mob enforcer in the 1950's. It is also the final part of Ellroy's L.A. quartet; a series of detective novels that take place in L.A. with recurring characters, one of them being the brilliantly adapted L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.

"For White Jazz, I would want Liam to play the Dudley Smith character. When L.A. Confidential came out — and I loved James Cromwell in that film and Liam would have been a tad too young then, at that time — but Liam is absolutely 100 percent the Dud. He is that guy. So to play him now —whoa," says Carnahan.

The other role Carnahan sees as a perfect fit for Neeson is that of Blake Morrow from Mark Millar's (KICK ASS) NEMESIS. The comic, which operates under the concept of "what if Bruce Wayne/Batman was a villain?" has the titular character, Nemesis, going toe-to-toe with a hero cop in the form of Blake Morrow.  Originally, action-auteur Tony Scott had signed on to direct, but has since dropped out.

"For Nemesis, I think he'd be a great Blake Morrow."

Carnahan had originally cast Bradley Cooper in the role of Ottley for THE GREY, which Neeson eventually took over.  "Bradley would have been an interesting choice, but it would have been a very different movie," says Carnahan.  I couldn't agree more. 

So, what do you think?  It seems like Carnahan has found his go-to-guy, much like Scorsese's DiCaprio/DeNiro.  Personally, I think it's a great match up.  I haven't seen THE GREY yet, but after yesterday's red band trailer, consider a ticket sold.  I thought NARC was a damn fine flick and I enjoyed the shit out of THE A-TEAM.  It seems like THE GREY will have a nice balance of commercial appeal, while showcasing some great performances, especially from Neeson.

Carnahan has yet to pick his next project, but it will likely be WHITE JAZZ, followed by the other long-gestating project, KILLING PABLO, about the operation to kill reknowned drug lord Pablo Escobar.  NEMESIS is still a long way off, but the possibility of Carnahan and Neeson teaming up for it is an intriguing one. 

I'm a Neeson fan, double rainbow all the way.  He's got an outstanding body of work thus far, which covers everything from drama (SCHINDLER'S LIST), action (TAKEN), sci-fi (STAR WARS), etc.  Carnahan is a skilled director and he has an impressive line up of upcoming projects.  Which project are you most looking forward to?

Extra Tidbit: Liam Neeson returned to his Qui Gon Jinn role from Star Wars: Episode 1 in the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, voicing the jedi master once more for two episodes.
Source: Vulture



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