The last two times acclaimed German directors have crossed over to Hollywood, it hasn’t worked out well, to say the least. But Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the brilliant Oscar-winner, The Lives Of Others, clearly hasn’t been put off by the experiences of Oliver Hirschbiegel (on The Invasion) and Tom Tykwer (The International), for he’s in talks to direct political thriller, The 28th Amendment.
And, just in case there was any doubt that this is a big studio film and not an indie over which von Donnersmarck could expect to wield complete influence, the movie is likely to star Tom Cruise. No pressure then, Florian.
The movie – which was written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman as a spec back in 1999 (the duo, who’ve moved onto bigger things since then, are currently rewriting) – would see Cruise play the President of the United States, who is forced to fight for his life, along with a sympathetic agent, when he discovers the existence of a sinister cabal that controls every decision the government makes. Naturally, they want the Prez dead before he spills the beans – cue mayhem, adventure, excitement and danger. Not necessarily in that order.
Cruise has been circling the movie for a while – most notably last year, when it would have been a two-hander with Denzel Washington - but had yet to make a decision. But now, with von Donnersmarck on board the Warner Bros. movie, it looks likely to be one of two projects that The Cruiser will make this year. Funnily enough, another of the movies he’s considering – David Cronenberg’s The Matarese Circle – would see him team up with Denzel after all, while yet another – Len Wiseman’s Motorcade – would also see him play the President. It seems likely that he’ll decide once is more than enough, for one year at least.
For von Donnersmarck, the movie will be his first since The Lives Of Others, back in 2006. He’ll clearly be hoping that he emulates the success of Wolfgang Petersen, rather than his unfortunate, aforementioned countrymen.