With work on Catching Fire both completed and being reworked by Michael Arndt, Oscar-winning scribe Simon Beaufoy is right back in the adaptation game — and on two projects that have been percolating for a bit of time. Oldest among these is The Raw Shark Texts, a prospective film based on the ambitious, potentially crazy time and memory-spanning science fiction novel by Steven Hall. [24Frames]
In a set-up some have compared to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a young man named Eric Sanderson awakens and discovers that “an earlier version of himself has been lost on a trip to Greece, where his girlfriend was killed in a boating accident, and that his memory is possibly being pursued by sharks.”(If you can just go ahead and wrap your head around it for a second, these sharks consume memories.) Through some means that yours truly can’t even concoct in his own mind, Eric needs to figure out what went wrong and, in the meantime, stop sharks from eating his thoughts like they’re chum thrown off the side of a boat.
It’s been a long time since Shark Texts was even announced — fall of 2008, specifically — and while that might lead one to think this is (do I say it? I’ll say it) dead in the water, the latest draft has been nailed down; producers have also found a “big-name director” that could become attached by the end of this month. I, if only because of simple curiosity, would not only like to see how they can make it all work — he admits this will “either be really tremendous or it will be a disaster” — but also with whom they’ll take a crack.
This second effort has had a director in mind for some time, but to essentially no avail. Most will have already realized (well, thanks to the headline) that I’m referring to Sharp Teeth, his take on Toby Barlow‘s gang-of-werewolves book that’s always been a possible outing for Danny Boyle. Although Beaufoy did, back in March, say that he’s spoken to his Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours collaborator about the project, any development on this one’s been going a little slowly over the course of a year.
His latest update? Well, he “think[s] it would be great if Danny did it,” but there’s no knowledge on his part as to what Boyle will actually do next. (After various work is conducted for the Olympics, he has to go back and edit his already-shot thriller, Trance, which is expected to hit in March of 2013.) There is some real momentum, though, since Slumdog producers Christian Colson and Film4 have taken Sharp Teeth under their wing. Yes, it’s probably going to happen, but the question of the man behind the camera remains unanswered for now.
What do you make of Beaufoy’s future projects? Do either sound interesting or ambitious enough for your own taste?