‘Room’ Director Lenny Abrahamson Chooses His Next Project, ‘The Grand Escape’
There are few positions in Hollywood more coveted than that of a director who has just earned his first Academy Award nomination. Even if the party in question does not win the gold statuette, as Room director Lenny Abrahamson failed to do so in the ceremony at the end of last month, it still provides an invaluable boost to his public profile and has essentially opened up a world of showbiz possibility to him. A director (or actor, writer, what-have-you) essentially has free reign to choose whatever he might like to do next, enjoying the benefits of being one of Hollywood’s hottest properties at the moment as studio heads jockey to get some of that Oscar-nomination magic.
With the world at his feet, Abrahamson has selected an adaptation of the upcoming novel The Grand Escape as his next project, The Hollywood Reporter notes. Not yet released, Neal Bascomb’s nonfiction novel tells the amazing true story of three death-defying pilots taken captive by the nefarious Germans during World War I. In a tale of desperation, grace under pressure, and abiding inner strength, the trio manage to hold it together and stage a mass exodus with the other POWs, eventually flying away to freedom. It’s easy to see why a studio executive might be eager to shepherd Abrahamson into a project such as this, too; the parallels with Room are readily apparent, with similar themes of hope as a balm during dire situations and the nerve-shredding tension of a good escape linking one with the other. (Though it might be fun if, at some point down the line, Abrahamson returned to live-wire eccentricity of his breakout indie Frank, starring Michael Fassbender as a neurotic mid-level rock star who hides behind a giant papier-mache head.)
Where this project will land on Abrahamson’s docket is not yet fully clear, considering that he’s also taken on writing and directing duties for the gestating film A Man’s World, about the boxer Emile Griffith. But it certainly sounds like another display of daring and steely reserve for the director, and I, for one, look forward to a future full of confusion between this project and the Steve McQueen movie The Great Escape.