director Zack Snyder has set up the first project at his new company, Cruel and Unusual Films - an action fantasy titled Sucker Punch
Snyder, who is eyeing the project as a directing vehicle, will produce with partner and wife Deborah Snyder. Snyder will co-write the script with Steve Shibuya, adapting it from his own original short story.
Set in the 1950's, "Punch" follows a girl who is confined to a mental institution by her evil stepfather, who intends to have her lobotomized in five days. While there, she imagines an alternative reality to hide her from the pain, and in that world, she begins planning her escape, needing to steal five objects to help get her out before she is deflowered by a vile man.
"A while ago I had written a script for myself and there was a sequence in it that made me think, 'How can I make a film that can have action sequences in it that aren't limited by the physical realities that normal people are limited by, but still have the story make sense so it's not, and I don't mean to be mean, like a bullsh*t thing like "Ultraviolet" or something like that?' " Snyder said. "And also, I was really inspired by the worlds of movies like 'Moulin Rouge,' which is modern but at the same time timeless."
Snyder described the world as "an 'Alice in Wonderland' with machine guns," blending such elements as dragons, B-52 bombers and brothels. Music will play a key role.
"In the end, it's about this girl's survival and what she needs to do to be able to cope," Deborah Snyder said.
Snyder is in pre-production on Watchmen
, the adaptation of the Alan Moore-Dave Gibbons graphic novel. Watchmen
is eyeing a late summer start.