Since filming wrapped on Vanishing On 7th Street in September, Brad Anderson has been trying to decide where to go next. And though the director has several ideas currently in development, one in particular should excite fans of his 2004 work, The Machinist. Anderson plans to film an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s psychological mind-warper, Concrete Island, starring Christian Bale.
Speaking about the project to ShockTillYouDrop, Anderson summarised the project as follows:
The best way to describe it is it’s like an urban Robinson Crusoe story. A guy crashes a car into a highway interchange and is marooned in this weedy lot, injured, and can’t escape. He’s basically trying to survive in the middle of the big urban Metropolis. It’s sort of a crazy, cool Ballard-esque type story, but Christian’s on board to do that – when we can fit it into his schedule, of course.
Colour us intrigued!
Ballard is no less than a legend in the realms of fiction, with his works giving rise to the adjective ‘Ballardian’, defined by the Collins English Dictionary as a sense of “dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.”
Yet adaptations of the author’s work have proven surprisingly scarce, the most notable being David Cronenberg’s Crash (1997) and Steven Spielberg’s (coincidentally also Bale starring) version of Ballard’s semi-autobiographical Empire of the Sun (1987). Will Concrete Island be the project to change that? We’re hoping so. But if Anderson can’t get that off the ground, what else does he have up his sleeve? Speaking of a project titled Jack, the director confided:
It’s about a serial killer who is in a car accident in the beginning of the movie and has retrograde amnesia. His physical therapist tries to get him back on his feet, and they fall in love, and then of course, midway through the movie he has flashes of who he really is… it’s actually very cool, it’s got a real nice Hitchcock suspense aspect to it. It takes all the conventions of the genre, but it’s a very well-written script and we’re trying to get that one going.
With Liev Schreiber and Samuel L. Jackson reportedly on board, one thing is clear – Ballard or no Ballard, Anderson will be messing with our minds again as soon as he can.