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James Mangold Finds Scribes for ‘City State’; ‘Gone’ and ‘Underworld: Awakening’ Writer Sets Up Project With New Line

Written by on June 25, 2012 

It was over eight months ago, a simpler time, when James Mangold (next year’s The Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma) was announced to helm City State, an English-language take on Olaf de Fleur Johannesson‘s hit Icelandic crime thriller. Work on the aforementioned comic book movie, while seemingly protracted, has been occupying time on the old schedule in the time since — i.e., this other film’s been a quiet prospect in all this time since — but, with that gearing up to shoot next month, City State now has some breathing room.

Variety reports that John Zinman and Patrick Massett (TV’s Friday Night Lights, Tomb Raider) will help give the film its American treatment, having been hired to scribe a story of colliding lives in the criminal underworld; the original, one of those hyper-link sort of deals, centered on “four people whose lives intersect when a foreign crime syndicate decides to take control of the Icelandic drug market.” (In Johannesson‘s film, the quartet was comprised of a slippery police chief, a vengeful female cop, a vengeful mechanic, and a mob boss on his last legs.) I’d hope they do more than simply transport it stateside, but, right now, that’s the primary point of citation on this new City State. Right now? I’ll be looking out.

New Regency is funding the film; Mangold‘s Tree Line Films and Thruline Entertainment will produce.

Let’s bring down whatever optimism can be generated by that story, because it’s a fine day when a mind behind Gone, Underworld: Awakening — and, it should be said, that Diane Lane movie where a guy kills people with the internet — can sell another idea. A story at THR says that Allison Burnett and New Line have struck a deal to get cracking on “[an untitled] noir thriller with sensuality and intrigue” that has already raised comparisons to Body Heat. (I would’ve gone with, say Double Indemnity, but if that’s what they want to think of…)

No director, actors, or producer are on board yet, but some decisive action on New Line’s part should get it right into the system at a quick clip. I think you should decide if that’s good or bad.

Does either project sound like it’s worth paying attention to?

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