For as long as Duncan Jones has been a creative to keep eyes on, there has been the knowledge that he most wishes to direct Mute, a Blade Runner-inspired sci-fi noir that has at least one brilliant twist up its sleeve: the protagonist, a Berlin bartender searching for his kidnapped girlfriend, is incapable of speaking to anyone. (See, it has that title because… well, see…) Being a less-than-commercial set-up, the project hasn’t gone very far — but, at long last (and no doubt with some capital built from the director’s upcoming Warcraft), it seems those days of waiting are nearing their end.
Coming out of the American Film Market is news that Mute will begin production this coming March with Alexander Skarsgård taking up the lead role. Two other great things have emerged from this: Paul Rudd will co-star, and some of the first proper plot details are now available. As the press release tells us:
“Berlin. Forty years from today. A roiling city of immigrants, where East crashes against West in a science-fiction Casablanca. Leo Beiler (Skarsgard), a mute bartender has one reason and one reason only for living here, and she’s disappeared. But when Leo’s search takes him deeper into the city’s underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons (led by Rudd) seem to be the only recurring clue, and Leo can’t tell if they can help, or who he should fear most.”
Mute will also be a Moon reunion: one essential oddity of this film is its connection to the 2009 debut, specifically a cameo from Sam Rockwell that will serve as an epilogue for his character, Sam Bell. It only follows then, that the actor will be involved in some capacity — as is Clint Mansell, with whom Jones worked to very fruitful ends on Moon. All in all, this is about as fine an update as fans could hope to hear.
For a peek at what he has next, here’s a teaser (for the trailer; this is such an awful world we live in) and first poster for Warcraft, which arrives on June 10, 2016: