Director Marc Forster Is Making a Trilogy Out of Unproduced Stanley Kubrick Script
Over a decade ago, Steven Spielberg directed A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a bleak science fiction epic that had been the brainchild of the late master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick for decades. And while film fans continue to debate the quality of the film (psst, it’s a masterpiece), everyone pretty much agreed that Spielberg, one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, was one of the few people worthy enough to step into Kubrick’s boots. You won’t find such universal agreement with the news that Marc Forster is adapting one of Kubrick’s old un-produced screenplays. Actually, the news that The Downslope will be the first in a trilogy may be a enough to get some film fans to riot.
The news comes to us via Deadline, who report that Forster has the full support of Kubrick family in this endeavor, so maybe they see something we don’t. From the outset, all we see is a director whose misses vastly outweigh his hits. The director of the scattered World War Z and the treacly Finding Neverland exploiting material created by the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange?! Let’s do the internet equivalent of overturning a car and lighting it on fire!
At the same time, it’s hard to pinpoint the real harm. It’s not like Forster is remaking a Kubrick movie and it would be shame for the meticulously researched American Civil War drama of The Downslope to go to waste. If a screenplay originally written in 1956 still looks appealing to modern filmmakers, than it’s surely a screenplay worth filming. Here’s how Deadline describes this “sweeping, historical action-drama”:
An anti-war story, The Downslope focuses on a bitter, strategic series of Civil War battles in the Shenandoah Valley between Union General George Armstrong Custer and Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby (known as the Gray Ghost for his stealth strategies). His cavalrymen, known as Mosby’s Rangers, continually outsmarted the much larger enemy forces in a sequence of raids, which enraged Custer and eventually created a fierce cycle of revenge between the two men.
From there, two sequels will follow characters as they journey west after the war to settle new lands. Forster won’t return for these proposed follow-ups, but he will produce.
It was only a matter of time before directors starting latching onto Kubrick’s unmade movies. After all, he spent years (and occasionally a decade) between projects, planning, researching, writing and ultimately abandoning tons of potential films. Some of these, like his never-made Napoleon epic, are famous for their non-existence. Others have simply vanished into history. Watching another filmmaker, even one as ruthlessly uninteresting as Forster, attempt to take on material crafted by one of the medium’s greatest geniuses will be ... Well, it’ll certainly be interesting.