Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's New Aronofsky?

Darren Aronofsky is one of those filmmakers I greatly admire. While I cannot truly claim that any of his films are my favorite films of all-time, they are all solid in my opinion. From his debut feature Pi, to last years The Wrestler, he continues to blend impressive visuals with his own personal tastes, which is something that is a rarity amongst directors nowadays.

Aronofsky first jumped on my radar back in the early 2000s when he was developing a take on Batman: Year One for Warner Bros. Luckily that film never get made, based off all I've heard about changes to the source material, but what it did was made me aware of his work. Since then I have tried to see every Aronofsky film I could (my personal favorite the highly underrated The Fountain).

Currently Aronofsky has yet to officially begin production on a new project, even though he has four or five in development. Aronofsky tends to not have the best track record when it comes to getting a film in development to the screen (seeing as how The Fountain took like six years to make), so here I am to try and be a voice of reason. I'll skim through all of his films in development and deliver my own thoughts on which ones I think he should make next.

First up is the one that most were intrigued about, his reboot of the 8os hero, Robocop. Currently there is no news to speak off on this front. While I think Aronofsky could make a really terrific Robocop film, it seems a long ways off. I haven't even heard of a script being commissioned yet, so I doubt this will be his next.

One film that Aronofsky has been batting around for a while is a big epic production based off the bible story of Noah's Ark. I think this could make a wonderful film if done right, but it's very ambitious, almost on the level of say The Ten Commandments. I personally doubt any studio will throw that much money Aronofsky's way just yet, simply because he has never made a film that was a gigantic hit at the box office. So you can check this one off the list.

After that is another film that has long been in production for Aronofsky, Black Flies, based off the novel by Shannon Burke. The film is about the adventures (so to speak) of an emergency medical technician in Harlem. The film sounds right up Aronofsky's alley, of course since the film was first announced back in 2005 no news has really surfaced on this project, so another one marked off.

Then there is Black Swan, a film that is about the rivalry between two ballerinas. The film already has a script and has cast the two leads, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. According to imdb the film is currently in pre-production, but not much word has come out since its initial announcement. I think this film could be a very solid film, it's said to be a bit of thriller. I'm not sure about the thriller aspect, but then again Pi is often considered a thriller as well, so I guess it depends on one's own definition. But I do think that the visual language of the film, examining the world of the ballet, could be very intriguing.

Finally the film most recently announced that Aronofsky is involved in, an untitled heist thriller based on the $85 million robbery at the Securitas Depot in Tonbridge, England, in February 2006. Not much is known about his approach to the project just yet, but knowing Aronofsky it wont be your by your numbers heist thriller, but I'm still not entirely convinced that a film like this will do much to advance his career.

Overall I would most like to see Aronofsky pursuing Black Flies more than anything else. It's subject matter that I believe Aronofsky knows well and I strongly feel that he could make it a powerful film, both visually and emotionally. If not Black Flies then I'd like to see him take on Black Swan. Regardless anything Aronofsky tackles I think will be done in a unique and intriguing way. Here's hoping he can top what he's already done with something greater.

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