Like a sweaty, snarling, OTT wrestler, Jack Finney’s illustrated 1970 novel Time And Again has beaten off all Hollywood’s champions who have tried to wrestle it to the cinematic mat and force it on screen. Now Summit / Lionsgate is hoping Doug Liman might be the man with the gumption to finally crack the adaptation.
Finney’s romantic time travel tale follows Simon Morley, an illustrator living in ‘70s New York who agrees to be part of a secret government programme. He’s zapped back to 1882 where he falls in love with a beautiful woman and must decide between his life (and current girlfriend) in the present and the past. It sounds a bit like Kate & Leopold except, y'know, not dreadful.
Time And Again slowly built up a huge following and Finney even wrote a sequel, From Time To Time, which arrived one year after he died in 1996.
The first filmmaker to show real interest in getting it made was Robert Redford, who was introduced to it by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward after their producing partner John Foreman had secured the rights. That didn’t work out, and a similar fate befell an attempt to turn it into a TV mini-series. Since then, several directors have been interested in the idea.
Liman is no stranger to difficult projects, though they’ve usually tended to get troublesome during production rather than at the source material stage. Still, with a wide range of films under his belt, he’s at least got a shot at making it happen. The studio will start locking down a writer shortly, while Liman concentrates on shooting All You Need Is Kill, which is now in pre-production in London with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt aboard.