Filmmaker Tony Gilroy, whose directorial debut Michael Clayton was nominated for a Best Picture ten years ago, will be reuniting with Warner Bros. Pictures for a new thriller, based on the long-in-development METHUSELAH project at the studio. The Tracking Board has confirmed that Gilroy is currently in talks to do this project.
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker last took over the directing reigns for 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, after being involved with the writing of Universal’s previous trilogy starring Matt Damon.
If this new project happens, it will mark Gilroy’s return to the studio for the first time since Michael Clayton, as he is in talks to write and possibly direct a now untitled thriller produced by David Heyman (Harry Potter, Gravity) along with Jeffrey Clifford from Heyday Productions.
The long-in-development project at Warner Bros, formerly called Methuselah and based on an idea from James Watkins, was at one point going to star Tom Cruise with Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) attached to direct, but Gilroy is likely to start from scratch once negotiations go through. (Rønning is currently focused on directing the adaptation of Michael Crichton’s final novel Micro, being produced by the same team behind Jurassic Park). Screenwriter Zach Dean was also once involved with developing the project.
Gilroy hasn’t committed to direct the project but will probably decide after finishing a complete overhaul on Watkins’ original script about a man who has survived for 400 years without showing any signs of aging, but accumulating vast amounts of knowledge during that time.
Gilroy will still have to pitch his vision to the Warner Bros. execs, although his deal seems to be in place to start working on it.
Michael Clayton received seven Oscar nominations with Gilroy receiving two nods for his screenplay and direction of the film, for which Tilda Swinton won an Oscar. Besides being hugely involved with the blockbuster Jason Bourne movies, Gilroy also directed Duplicity for Universal, which teamed Julia Roberts with Clive Owen, and he was involved with putting the finishing touches on Lucasfilms’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, doing rewrites and directing the reshoots.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor