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Filmism.net Dispatch April 11, 2011

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There's a film you're going to hear a lot about some time in the future (next year in fact, if my sources are correct) called Timecrimes. It's going to star someone you might have heard of called Tom Cruise, and it's been written and produced by American Gangster and Gangs of New York scribe Steve Zaillian. As yet there's no director.

Production company Film Rites and studio Dreamworks have a unique opportunity. Timecrimes is a remake of a little seen and mostly brilliant 2007 Spanish thriller, where a man who lives near a top-secret laboratory in a remote forest gets mixed up in a time travel loop.

You know the scene in Back to the Future where Marty's hand starts to disappear because his current actions are sending ripples through the spacetime continuum, changing the future so he'll never exist? Timecrimes is all about that very idea, of the damage to the cause-and-effect of physics that ensues when a man travels through time to the recent past and creates copies of himself who walks in his recent footsteps.

No other actors are attached yet, but there was a female hitchhiker from Nacho Vigalondo's version (wonder if that's someone's real name – it sounds like a Mexican takeaway). It will undoubtedly be expanded into a full romantic subplot (hope Michelle Monaghan or Bridget Moynahan are free) and Cruise will probably be in full trying-to-look-out-of-his-depth-despite-dazzling-smile mode. But if they stick closely to the time travel mythology and keep it all low key, they could find themselves with a very classy thriller.

In other news, the twitterverse is abuzz with news about Michael Shannon, the sleazy producer from The Runaways and the creepy but honest neighbour from Revolutionary Road. He's been cast as General Zod in Zack Snyder's Superman re-reboot and his intense eyes and crazy, toothy smile will surely be as effective as Terence Stamp's humourless, vulpine face was in Superman and Superman II.

I also came across my review of 1988's Scrooged, a movie I'll always love and which made its money back but didn't light the world on fire. I can watch it again and again and if you think back far enough you can even remember the tagline, 'this time, it's three against one' (a reference to one of star Bill Murray's biggest films, Ghostbusters ).

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