Alex Proyas Just Might Get a Movie Made, Thanks to Long-Gestating ‘The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag’

After years of bad breaks getting productions to the screen, director Alex Proyas‘s luck just might be turning around – in the form of yet another cinematic adaptation. Deadline Culver City reports that the director is set to finally helm the big screen version of Robert Heinlein‘s novella “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag” that he’s been talking about since 2008. Even better? The production will be fully financed by Red Granite Pictures, who will also co-produce the film, along with Mythology Entertainment, Phoenix Pictures, and Mystery Clock Cinema.

Over the past couple of years, Proyas has lost two big projects due to budgetary issues – his ambitious Paradise Lost was killed off in February and his take on Dracula: Year Zero died off back in 2010, though it’s now back on at Universal with a new script and a new director – so the announcement that he has a new project and it’s fully financed must be music to his ears. And for fans of the Dark City helmer, this project will likely sound pretty damn good, too.

Proyas has adapted the screenplay himself from Heinlein’s 1942 novella, and he apparently has a very personal connection to the source material, as “the original story captured Proyas’ imagination from a young age, ultimately serving as inspiration for his iconic film Dark City.”

The film centers on Jonathan Hoag (duh), who “is struck one evening with the realization that he has no memory of what he does during the day. Distraught over his predicament, and particularly concerned that he might be engaged in some nefarious activities, he contacts a husband and wife detective agency and asks them to surreptitiously follow him. The truth takes a dark and ultimately earth-shattering turn as their investigation leads to a series of frightening revelations, beginning with a group of shadowy figures who gravely warn of dire consequences unless the pair immediately cease their inquiry into the nature of Hoag’s identity.” This sounds right about Proyas’s alley and just different enough from Dark City that it won’t feel like cinematic retread.

The film will lens in Australia and is looking to get going this fall.


Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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