After the gruelling experience of Margaret - a film six years in the making - you'd imagine Kenneth Lonergan, a recent guest of the 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, would be ready to take himself off somewhere sunny, or at the very least have a cup of tea and a lie down. Not so. The director, whose terrific indie has been hailed from the rooftops, is already turning his thoughts to future projects, an adaptation of his own play, The Starry Messenger, prime amongst them.
"I liked [The Starry Messenger] very much," Lonergan tells Empire of his future plans. "I think that would make a very nice movie and I'd like to do that. And I have two screenplays I'm working on. So it's a question of what gets finished first and what I can get financing for."
The play, which debuted off-Broadway in 2009 with Matthew Broderick, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Lonergan's wife J. Smith-Cameron, tells of a timid astronomy lecturer whose life is thrown into flux when he meets a single mother after one of his classes.
It's a happy sign that Lonergan's filmmaking ambitions haven't been stymied since Margaret, albeit with the kind of caveats born, no doubt, of the angst and lawsuit that tarnished its release. "I'm prepared to go back into the fray," he explains, "[but] unless I can find someone who will do a European-style movie schedule, I feel very bad about taking that much time away from my family at this point. (Laughs) That sounds like a politician who's been driven out of office, and I don't feel I have been exactly. It's more a logistical question rather than a creative question. There's a number of things I'd like to do. And think I can do."
Lonergan, interviewed here, also shared his thoughts on Margaret's extended DVD cut. "There's not a director's cut [but] there is an extended cut. What was released last September [in the US] was my cut, but the DVD is just a different version, it's not the definitive version. There's more of it, and things that I was happy to be able to put in. It's funny, because, the older I get, the more difficulty I have deciding what to keep and what to keep and what to get rid of. It was sort of a very relaxing epiphany to realise I didn't have to choose."
Margaret is out on DVD now.