The team that made Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is partnering for a thinking man’s sci-fi tale.
Saints helmer David Lowery has closed a deal to adapt and direct To Be Two, an adaptation of a short story from the Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology collection by Paul Broks.
Casey Affleck is attached to star and is set to executive produce with Lowery, Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston of Sailor Bear. Halbrooks and Johnston were producers on Saints, which opened in theaters last weekend.
James Wilson is attached to produce via his JW Films banner as well as Claudia Bluemhuber of Silver Reel Entertainment. Silver Reel will finance script development.
To Be Two adapts the short story To Be Two or Not to Be and deals with identity and the self. It’s set in a world where teleportation exists and people are scanned, the digital self sent to Mars, reconstructed atom by atom, while the original is vaporized. The story then posits the idea of the teleportation machine malfunctioning and not vaporizing the original person. Who is now real? And how do experiences make them different? And what happens when the authorities want to erase the original person?
The tone of the adaptation is said to be similar to Looper, Rian Johnson’s time-traveling movie that saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play the same person from different decades with different agendas.
Lowery wrote and directed Saints, starring Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster, which garnered much acclaim when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year, with many critics comparing the filmmaker to Terrence Malick.
Since the Sundance unveiling, WME-repped Lowery has booked a gig to write Disney’s reimagined version of Pete’s Dragon with Halbrooks and is attached to adapt and direct The Old Man and the Gun, based on a 2003 article in The New Yorker. Robert Redford is attached to star.
Affleck is next set to star in Relativity’s Out of the Furnace and just began shooting Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi adventure movie. He is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.
Silver Reel is a fairly new financier on the scene and recently teamed with Colin Firth‘s Raindog Films on the $30 million spy thriller A Foreign Country. Among the other titles it has worked on are the Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie movie Maggie, Nicole Kidman‘s Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco, and TIFF title Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson.
Halbrooks, Johnston and Sailor Bear are all also repped by WME. Broks is repped by RWSG.
As a side note, Lowery has teamed up with his filmmaking pals Destin Daniel Cretton, Joe Swanberg and Adam Wingard, all of whom have buzzy indie movies (Short Term 12, Drinking Buddies and You’re Next, respectively) hitting theaters this weekend, for a little quadruple promo.
The filmmakers are promising that, if you see all of their movies and have the receipts to prove it, prizes like a hand-drawn illustration from Lowery, a hand-painted animal mask from Wingard and a signed coaster from Swanberg can be yours. Details can be found here.