Ben Stiller hasn’t directed a feature film since the poorly received Zoolander 2, but he’s joined quite a team for his next directorial project. Stiller is set to helm the “high concept thriller” London, which will star Oscar Isaac and be written for the screen by Eric Roth, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Forrest Gump and most recently, the Oscar-nominated A Star is Born.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ben Stiller and Oscar Isaac are teaming up for the Lionsgate film London, based on the short story by The Snowman author Jo Nesbo. Eric Roth will be penning the adaptation, which is being produced by Isaac, who obtained the rights to the story under his Mad Gene Media banner and recruited both Stiller and Roth.
London is being billed as a “high concept thriller,” but there were no other plot details shared about this mysterious short story. Jo Nesbo is the celebrated crime novelist behind The Snowman, which became a much-mocked feature film directed by Tomas Alfredson and starring Michael Fassbender, but it’s hard to tell whether London will fall under the crime genre like many of Nesbo’s other works. But to add intrigue to the whole thing, Isaac apparently obtained the rights to the short story in “competition,” according to Deadline, which means this story was probably in high demand. So that’s pretty cool.
All being said, this is a somewhat odd team for a film described as a “high concept thriller.” Apart from duds like Zoolander 2, Stiller has had a pretty successful directing career, showing a skill for satirical comedy like Tropic Thunder and the first Zoolander, and more grounded fare like Reality Bites. But Stiller’s catalogue remains firmly in comedy-drama territory, with even his most whimsical film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, mostly dealing with a man in a mid-life crisis. However, perhaps he got a taste for the thriller after directing the acclaimed Showtime miniseries Escape at Dannemora, for which he earned an Emmy nomination. That may be why Isaac got Stiller on board, while Roth will add the prestige drama sheen to the project. Regardless, Isaac’s every role is something to pay attention to — the actor impresses whether he’s a supporting character in a sci-fi franchise, or whether he’s playing creepy, cutthroat characters in arthouse indies.
Stiller will also produce London via his Red Hour production banner with Nicky Weinstock. Nesbo will executive produce along with Niclas Salomonsson. Brady Fujikawa and Scott O’Brien will oversee for Lionsgate.
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