Exclusive: Steve Zaillian Wants to Direct Timecrimes


Oscar-winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian has earned a reputation as the King of the Adaptation with some of his past work including Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, and that rep should continue with his screenplay for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, out on Tuesday, December 20.

When ComingSoon.net sat down with Zaillian to discuss it earlier today, we got around to some of his other projects including the proposed English remake of Nacho Vigalondo’s Spanish cult classic Timecrimes for DreamWorks Pictures.

The remake actually came up recently when we spoke with director David Cronenberg, who denied any involvement with the project, but we learned that Zailian himself is toying with directing it.

“That’s something I might direct but I don’t know. We have to cast it, but it’s a tricky one, because I want to make it really low budget. I don’t want to do a really big budgeted film for that. I think part of its appeal is that it’s kind of a low budget thriller, but it’s even hard to get that made without a major actor, so the trick is to find the right actor that doesn’t suddenly push the budget up into the 20s or 30s. I’d like to make it for 10 million bucks. You look at it and it’s one of the rare opportunities where you have four characters, two locations, why do you need to spend $40 million dollars? This is a gift, this is a story that you wouldn’t want to tell any differently, and it happens to be an economical way to go.”

We also spoke with Zaillian about his adaptation of Khaled (“The Kite Runner”) Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, which he had been lined up to adapt over four years ago.

“We’re still talking about it. The way I want to do it is make basically a foreign film. I want this to be done by a Middle Eastern director with Middle Eastern actors, maybe even in Farsi, and approach it in the exact opposite way that they did ‘The Kite Runner’ and make it a really indigenous film to the area. That’s a tough approach to get the money for, so that’s what we’re trying to do. Unlike ‘Dragon Tattoo,’ where I had no qualms about setting it in Sweden but the people would be speaking in English–I thought that was the right way to go–but with ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns,’ I think it would be more distinctive if it was made indigenously.”

Look for the rest of our interview with Steve Zaillian sometime next week.

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