In 'Blink,' Al Pacino may smell the scent of Malcolm Gladwell
By Steven Zeitchik
Like everyone else who's ever read the New Yorker or caught a glimpse of the book that guy on the plane next to them is reading, we've been mystified as to how Malcolm Gladwell's nonfiction bestseller "Blink" would be turned into a feature pretty much since Leo DiCaprio optioned the thing.
When Stephen Gaghan came on to write and direct, the intrigued deepened. "Traffic" with decision-making problems? "Syrianna" with academic studies?
Now the mystery is clearing up, and what kind of movie it will be is clearing up with it.
Risky Biz has learned that Al Pacino is in talks to star as one of the leads, with a number of younger actors - you'd be surprised at the tween appeal of some on the list -- circling the other lead part.
Gaghan's script will center on the relationship between an older man (Pacino) and the twentysomething son he was never close to. The two reconnect early on in the pic, and the boy, an idealistic drifter who's teaching in a downtown New York school, and the father, a finance type living in Connecticut, must navigate their new relationship.
Oh yes, the book. Well, the son has that Blink thing going -- he can size up people and situations on a dime. The Pacino character spots this, and both wants to help the boy find himself and use him to make some dough on Wall Street. It's "Scent of a Woman" with a finance-y twist -- colorful, self-involved older guy mentoring younger ingenue for reasons both selfless and selfish.
The project had initially been set up at Universal but it's been reincarnated as an indie, with William Morris Independent's Incentive film fund coming up with the financing and and shopping the package to U.S. distributors here in Cannes.
The script is apparently ready to go, and, but for the casting of the younger actor and a few other elements, the movie soon will be to, with production ready to start as early as the fall.
And screenings in theaters -- and, of course, airplanes -- to follow not long after that.
Rope of Silicon's take on it:
Pacino Eyes Lead Role in Adaptation of Gladwell’s ‘Blink’
Any guesses on the tween co-star?
The Hollywood Reporter has a story regarding a film I am purely interested in only because Stephen Gaghan is aboard as writer and director. Gaghan penned the script for Traffic and wrote and directed Syriana in 2005, two films that don’t necessarily lend perfectly to what it sounds like will be attempted with the filmed adaptation of Malcolm Gladwell’s nonfiction bestseller “Blink”, but at the same time it makes the proposition that much more interesting.
First off, Gaghan’s script will center on the relationship between an older man and the twenty something son he was never close to. The two reconnect early on in the pic, and the boy, an idealistic drifter who’s teaching in a downtown New York school, and the father, a finance type living in Connecticut, must navigate their new relationship.
THR’s Steven Zeitchik describes the rest of the story as “Scent of a Woman with a finance-y twist” as the son has that “blink” thing going, and can size up people and situations on a dime. The father character spots this, and both wants to help the boy find himself and use him to make some dough on Wall Street. Sounds a little bit like Rain Man if you ask me, just taking place on Wall Street instead of in Vegas. Oh, and without the autism.
Lined up for the role as the father is Al Pacino, who is currently in talks for the part, and Zeitchik says there is a surprising “tween appeal” surrounding the role of the son, which immediately makes me think we are talking about Zac Efron or Robert Pattinson.
Word is the script is ready to go and a few pieces need to slide into place as the film will be shopped around the Cannes Film Festival this May and should things work out it will go into production this fall.
As the Rope of Silicon comments indicate, Rob is apparently tied up for the fall.
If Zac does Death and Life (and by all indications he will), I would imagine it would be done by the end of September at the latest. But Jonny Quest could start filming then... we just don't know enough about it yet to say for sure if he's tied up or not.
What do I think of the story? Without more info, I can really only say at least it doesn't sound completely ridiculous or pointless. It has shades of many other movies as they mention above, but what movie doesn't anymore. And emotional entanglements are always fascinating when written well.
Stephen Gaghan as writer/director has a lot of potential to make the project good. He's had some good scripts (Oscar-winning Traffic and Syriana) and also some duds (Havoc, The Alamo and Abandon). As a director he's 50/50 between Syriana and Abandon.
Al Pacino. This would probably be the best part of this experience. I mean, who wouldn't want to work with Al Pacino? Pacino has done some less-than-stellar films lately but it would still be a huge learning experience for Zac.
Also the project is being produced by Leo and Appian Way and it would be good to have connections there.
Ultimately I think the story has potential to be excellent and collaborating with generally well-respected players would obviously not only help Zac grow as an actor but would also gain him credibility and widen his fan base.
Unfortunately, all that is left for us to do really is to wait and see what happens.