All of the things in that headline sound great. Normally I try to steer clear of stories where Writer/Director/Actor X wants to make Movie Y because wish-fulfillment is not the same as announcing a genuine project, but in the case of Travis Beacham and The Curiosity, things are a little different.
For one, this isn’t a writer throwing his hat in the ring for a blockbuster that’s already in the works (“Sure, I’ll direct Justice League: Rise of the Planet of Justice!”). For two, Beacham is being moderately open about his concept and the process of making it his directorial debut.
From what he’s shared on his personal website, The Principle Fantastic, he’s already shot at least some scenes for a short film that will stand as a proof-of-concept for a film he says, “draws heavily from Celtic mythology (with a slight dash of Teslapunk thrown in) to tell the story of a peculiar young woman who finds herself a long, long way from home.” Hopefully he’ll share that short film on the internet when it’s ready for human consumption.
The project is at least partially born from Beacham’s failed Hieroglyph show, which failed to move forward from the pilot stage at Fox. The experience proved to Beacham that he wants to do more with production, and it seems as though this project – The Curiosity – is his attempt to marry the control of writing for television with the larger-scale possibilities of a feature film project.
At the same time, he’s described the scope of the movie as more in line with Pan’s Labyrinth and District 9, so it’s not like it will require the same kind of budget that Pacifim Rim had.
It will also focus on a female protagonist in a fantastical world. Beacham explains why:
I really wanted my first directorial effort to have a female protagonist. My women characters are routinely more interesting than my men. I don’t exactly know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve never much liked the kind of dudes the typical action hero celebrates. For whatever reason, it’s something that keeps happening. I’ve even been pressured to dull a female character whose arc felt cooler than the male hero’s (which is a profoundly frustrating note to get, by the way, right or wrong).
Bring it on, Beacham.