Rian Johnson's future target: 'Looper'

Writer-director to team with Ram Bergman on thriller

NEW YORK -- "The Brothers Bloom" writer-director Rian Johnson has set a new project, a time-travel thriller titled "Looper" that again will see the filmmaker seek to reinvent a familiar genre.

The project will team Johnson with producer Ram Bergman, who produced Johnson's previous two films, with the pair eyeing a 2009 start date. Johnson again will direct from his own script.

Endgame Entertainment, which financed and produced "Bloom," will likely come on to finance and produce "Looper," though the principals said there have been no formal negotiations yet.

"Looper" is set in a present-day world in which a group of hitmen are sent their victims from the future.

Johnson is known for giving a traditional format an original spin. His debut "Brick," a media and cult hit released by Focus in 2006, set a noir tale in a contemporary Southern California high school, while "Bloom" is a modern take on the conman picture, with Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as brothers who may or may not be conning a wealthy eccentric (Rachel Weisz).

Summit, which bested a number of suitors last year to pick up "Bloom" off a script and promo reel in a reported eight-figure deal, will release the film in December and, along with "Twilight," will make the title one of its first major releases.

"Bloom" garnered strong word-of-mouth at this month's Toronto International Film Festival, with Johnson telling The Hollywood Reporter that the conventions of the conman movie helped him create the story.

"The nice thing about doing a movie like this is that you can use the audience's expectations as part of the storytelling," he said.