Primer Director Chooses Upstream Color

Shane Carruth finally returns

Seven long years ago, Shane Carruth directed the none-more-indie Primer. Since then there've been rumours of a second film called A Topiary, and Carruth has contributed to Looper, but now CHUD are reporting that Carruth's sophomore movie is finally underway, in the form of Upstream Color.

Primer, if you're yet to catch it, is a head-scratching, understated, sci-fi drama about guys using an accidentally-invented time machine in a lock-up garage to play the stock market. In the process, they gradually create countless divergent timelines and have to deal with hassle from alternate versions of themselves. This is explaining it very, very simply.

We don't know much about Upstream Color at this stage. CHUD notes that its title refers to a biopharmaceutical process for removing impurities during chemical manufacture, but that may have nothing to do with anything. There are also some maddeningly vague character descriptions from a casting call: "Kris" will get a severe haircut during the course of the film; "Wesley" is a composer and a farmer; "Evan" works in a record shop and is a nutcase; 16-year-old "Phoebe" is a lot like her grandmother...

But what seems clear is that this isn't a reworked version of A Topiary, the apparently borderline-crazy "abstract arthouse Pokemon" screenplay that Carruth was shopping around following Primer. A Topiary is reportedly still in development with a shoot planned for next year. Upstream Color meanwhile, is a "romance/drama/thriller" on a similarly tightly-controlled scale to Primer, and will shoot in November.

You wait seven years for a new Carruth film, and then two arrive at once! Fingers painfully crossed that Upstream isn't a Southland Tales to Primer's Donnie Darko...