Kubrick seems to miraculously keep working on films posthumously. There are a couple of them already on display (A.I., Eyes Wide Shut) and a few more on studio back burners. If you know anything about Kubrick, you probably know that the guy spent the majority of his adult life doing research on anything that interested him – which was pretty much everything. File cabinets crammed full with documents relating to his never-to-be-made Napoleon Bonaparte bio-epic for example.
Coming via a tweet from Production Weekly, this latest bit of intel has the underrated Sam Rockwell and the top-heavy Scarlet Johansson starring in Lunatic at Large; which was supposed to be Kubrick’s next film after Spartacus before the original manuscript was lost. Going through all of Kubrick’s “archives” after his death in 1999, his son-in-law, Philip Hobbs, discovered the lost manuscript and with the help of screenwriter Stephen R. Clarke fleshed out a final product.
The highly unreliable IMDb profile for the movie has zero information, but looking at the IMDb profile for relative nobody, Chris Palmer has Lunatics at Large in his in development section. God knows what this means.
In the meantime, playlist dug up a New York Times article from 2006 that discusses the plot conceived from pulp author, Jim Thompson (The Grifters, The Killer Inside Me):
Set in New York in 1956, it tells the story of Johnnie Sheppard, an ex-carnival worker with serious anger-management issues, and Joyce, a nervous, attractive barfly he picks up in a Hopperesque tavern scene. There’s a newsboy who flashes a portentous headline, a car chase over a railroad crossing with a train bearing down, and a romantic interlude in a spooky, deserted mountain lodge.
The great set piece is a nighttime carnival sequence in which Joyce, lost and afraid, wanders among the tents and encounters a sideshow’s worth of familiar carnie types: the Alligator Man, the Mule-Faced Woman, the Midget Monkey Girl, the Human Blockhead, with the inevitable noggin full of nails.
Sort of sounds maybe like Freaks meets Shutter Island? I don’t know if or when this movie will ever actually see the light of day, but being that it is something at least conceived from my favorite director, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one in hopes I can see it sometime in the next few years.