Aaron Guzikowski


Despite screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski‘s script earning raves all around Hollywood, Prisoners wasn’t exactly fast tracked. If you recall the project’s development, a series of talent were on and off the film, from directors Bryan Singer and Antoine Fuqua to stars Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio. Even Mark Wahlberg was attached at one point, who, from the start, served as a key cheerleader for the project. According to Guzikowski, Wahlberg was one of the script’s biggest and most important fans. “Mark Wahlberg was the first person to champion it.” After that stamp of approval “everything got more and more attention.” Guzikowski wrote Prisoners as a spec script, and without Wahlberg, Prisoners and Guzikowski’s career would not have blossomed the way that it has. “He was totally pivotal in getting the film made. That endorsement helped it get around.” He went to write the modest hit Contraband for Wahlberg. While both features are drastically different, they feature a race against the clock tension. To keep that tempo on high, Guzikowski says, “You have to keep the visual of it all in mind. It has to have a musical sort of pacing. I think the best thrillers have a real rhythm to them.” As for where that rhythm comes from, it’s all about the drama. “That pace is informed by however the characters are feeling. I think that’s they key to making that ticking clock.”



Were you aware that a new Sam Worthington movie came out this week? It’s true. It’s from 2005, looks terrible, and can give us all insight into what casting directors were seeing in the guy that came from nowhere and landed in every large movie ever. Continuing the campaign to convince us that he’s a big star, Warners is settling a deal right now on a science fiction concept from Aaron Guzikowski that has Worthington attached. There are no details about it other than it involves 1) war and 2) space. So, it could be Avatar or The Last Starfighter. Or both. Guzikowski is a newcomer to the writing world, but he must have impressed with his work on the forthcoming Mark Wahlberg thriller Contraband (and with this pitch of course). Worthington will see screens again soon when The Debt opens, but getting excited about his casting is difficult considering how unenergectic an actor he is. There’s no denying that he looks like a leading man, but his constant bored look makes him seem like the girl I took to the junior prom. Yet, studios are going to continue assuring us that he’s the next Christian Bale, casting him in all sorts of large budget projects. Not bad for an actor who once played Macbeth for the guy who directed Cherry Falls. [Deadline Perth]


Denis Villeneuve

You’ll first get a chance to see Aaron Guzikowski‘s writing when Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg, hits theaters in March of 2012, but his Black Listed script for Prisoners may finally see the light of day soon as well. According to Twitch, Incendies director Denis Villeneuve has signed on to make it his English-language debut. The story concept is streamlined – a man’s daughter is kidnapped, and he decides to take the law into his own hands by kidnapping who he thinks is the kidnapper. That last part leaves a big window open to fool around with the classic revenge tale, and we’ll undoubtedly learn more about what got the script onto the Black List in the first place. Villeneuve has proven himself to be more than capable, but the road to making films in Hollywood is a notoriously treacherous one for even the best foreign directors. Still, it’s great to see him progress and attempt to reach a broader audience (since he and that audience deserve each other). Now, is Liam Neeson available or should someone else get a shot?



Leonardo DiCaprio is moving from one thriller, the recently released Shutter Island, to another, the upcoming Aaron Guzikowski-scripted drama Prisoners. The film has been making the rounds for a while — at one point Antoine Fuqua was set to direct, but has since moved on. According to Deadline Hollywood, the film follows “a small-town carpenter who takes matters into his own hands when is daughter and her friend are kidnapped.”



The process is in the early stages, but a major star has just signed on to a spec script by a new writer. Bale will be joining Prisoners with Bryan Singer attached to direct.



The Hollywood Reporter is going bonkers over Aaron Guzikowski, or at least the news that his feature debut as a writer has been the most sought after thing to grace Hollywood this week.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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