‘Michael Clayton’ Director Tony Gilroy Takes Over Biblical Epic ‘Methuselah’
Hey, remember that weekend last October when it was announced that Tom Cruise would be playing Methuselah, the biblical warrior who lived to be more than 900 years old? Yes, we all had ourselves a good chuckle at the implication of life imitating art imitating life again, but don’t pretend like you weren’t also a little excited to see what Cruise and company could bring to the film. Take one part Forrest Gump, one part Benjamin Button, and one part Highlander, and you had yourself the recipe for a pretty great action-adventure movie with Hollywood’s most bankable star. Admit it: you knew you were going to see it.
Methuselah might still be a pretty fun idea for a centuries-spanning epic, but we may have to wait a little on that one: from the sound of it, things have been shuffled around a bit at Warner Bros. since the movie was officially announced. A new report in Deadline (via /Film) notes that Joachim Rønning — the Pirates of the Caribbean director who was previously attached to direct Cruise in the film — is out, and in his place is Tony Gilroy, the writer-director of Michael Clayton and The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy apparently is also pitching Warner Bros. on a “creative overhaul” of the original script, keeping only the title character and the basic elements of his backstory.
According to Deadline, there’s also no word on Cruise’s involvement with the project going forward, so we’ll have to wait and see what Gilroy has in mind. In their coverage of the piece, /Film rightly has a few guesses at whether this version of Methuselah will keep the religious setting as well; could we see Gilroy bring the character into a contemporary setting? Will this be a sort of vaguely fantastical Jack Reacher, where a mythological character just wanders around righting wrongs in the world? Your guess is as good as mind, but Gilroy has a pretty good track record in his years in Hollywood, so fingers crossed that this is still a movie worth checking out.