Increasingly it appears that Twitter is becoming the go-to press release platform for the habitually lazy. So while I'm intrigued by Production Weekly's 'tweet' late last night that legendary director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam) "plans to direct the indie sci-fi thriller "Isopod," [and] production is scheduled to begin next month in the Carolinas," I sort of wish they had given us more than 160 characters to work with. Luckily, I can bullshit with the best of them.
"Isopod." Wikipedia tells me that isopods are an order of "peracarid crustaceans," which apparently includes bugs like woodlice and pill bugs. Most isopods are parasitic, and some (like Cymothoa exigua) can even do really crazy-gross things like eat the tongues out of snapper fish and then replace their tongues with their own bodies. Is this what Levinson's Isopod is going to be about? Probably not, but there's no harm in us speculating!
The "Carolinas" are certainly as good a place as any to film a sci-fi thriller about nasty parasitic bugs, especially if they are also from outer space - a possibility that has been neither confirmed nor denied. Still, we must not rule out the possibility that the titular isopod is actually a metaphor for something entirely non-bug-related. Who are we to say whether or not Levinson's film will be an elaborate allegory for humankind's own parasitic relationship to the planet and the natural resources we have so thoughtlessly consumed?
Interestingly, Sony Pictures also 'tweeted' (twet?) just a month ago that Levinson would be helming Brother Jack, a biopic of human rights activist Jack Healey, which we reported at the time would be the director's next project. Unfortunately, Production Weekly's latest tweet seems to debunk that notion.
So, basing this story simply on information gleaned from America's most cutting-edge news source, Twitter, we have learned that Levinson will either be tackling a heartwarming human rights-themed biopic or a mysterious sci-fi thriller possibly to feature woodlice. This is the future of journalism in action.
Barry Levinson has had quite the career change over the last few years. In the 1970's and 1980's, he rose to the top of the industry as a writer (Tootsie, ...And Justice For All) and director (Rain Man, Good Morning, Vietnam), grossing hundred of millions of dollars for various movie studio's and racking up four Oscar nominations and one win for his direction. The hits kept coming in the 1990's with Bugsy, Disclosure and Sleepers, but since 1998's Wag The Dog, he's been inconsistent with his work.
We may see a return to the Levinson we love, though, as Sony Pictures has announced that the 68 year-old filmmaker will direct their biopic of human rights activist Jack Healey, titled Brother Jack. The studio sent a brief tweet out not more than an hour ago stating that Levinson would weave the coming of age story of an idealist who leaves the priesthood for a life on the streets and successfully wages a one man war to elevate the issue of human rights.
The screenplay is being written by Harley Peyton, with a current rewrite by Kelly Masterson. The film will be produced by Mosaic and Jack Healey for Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, the presidents of Columbia Pictures.
If you review Levinson's resume, you'll see a hall-of-fame worthy list of productions, many of which have stood the test of time to become true cinematic treasures. His return to the big screen with serious subject matter like this is a good sign for both Sony and film buffs alike.