You have to give props to Alex Proyas for casting Rufus Sewell as an amnesiac psychic in dark city — even off-screen, Sewell always seems to be working some spooky mental magic on anyone in his vicinity. Every time I look at photos of the guy, I think, “Stop doing that to me!” Which doesn’t actually do much good since he’s not, you know, actually psychic.
On the other hand, Proyas also made the brilliant decision to cast Will “Oh Hell Yeah!” Smith in an adaptation of a bunch of Isaac Asimov stories. Now, Smith’s a fine actor at times, but the problem is that there are two Will Smiths — on one hand, the guy who starred in Bad Boys and Independence Day; on the other, the guy who starred in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness — and Proyas paid for the first one.
So I can’t say I’m all that thrilled to see Proyas hit up a short story by another sci-fi master for material — in this case, Robert Heinlein. The Hollywood Observer reports that it will be INCREDIBLY SUPER ORIGINAL:
Phoenix principals Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer and Brad Fischer will produce the adaptation of “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag,” which they describe as a complex psychological thriller with plenty of action as well as some love interest. A title change is likely.
A psychological thriller! With action! And a love interest! Where are those Twizzlers and that tub of popcorn? You’ve totally reeled me in, Phoenix Pictures, though, obviously the title change will be key. Something like, Mind Maze, perhaps. Or Brainspark. Who wants to line up with me tonight?!