In 2009, Duncan Jones co-wrote and directed Moon, a cerebral science fiction film about astronaut Sam Bell's 5 year mission on an otherwise empty base on the moon. The film was incredibly original & very though provoking, and since its release has gained a major cult following.
6 years and 2 feature films later, Jones is beginning pre-production on Mute, a film that he has been trying to get off the ground with much difficulty since the release of Moon. Unable to find studio backing after Moon, he would go on to direct Source Code and the upcoming Warcraft while making Mute into a graphic novel he could use as a pitching tool.
Built up as his tribute to Blade Runner, Duncan Jones is crafting something very special in both its own original story and connections to Moon. Mute will tell the story of a (you guessed it) mute bartender working in a futuristic Berlin very much like the world of Los Angeles in Blade Runner. Back in 2011, Jones spoke with Digital Spy about the importance the city of Berlin has to the project.
"Flying into Berlin in [the '70s], you were literally flying across an inter-Soviet territory back when the Soviets were really terrifying. You would land in Berlin, which was like this little oasis of the West and it was incredibly scary and exciting, a very vibrant city."
The city has become a science fiction Casablanca-esque environment, and the bartender, Leo (to be played by Alexander Skarsgård) is mainly there to be with his female companion. When she goes missing, Leo plunges into the deep underbelly of the city to find out what happened to her. The only other main cast member to be confirmed is Paul Rudd who is set to play a quirky surgeon who is his first and only clue as to what happened to his partner.
The film is set to be something very special that Jones has been trying to get off the ground for twelve years now. To make things even more exciting, Sam Rockwell is set to reprise his role as Sam Bell from Moon although in what capacity is unknown.
Mute will be the middle entry of a hopeful trilogy that Jones wishes to make, Moon being the first film. It's incredibly exciting and rare to have such a deep/cerebral science fiction universe being made in today's climate of the big studio fare. Especially with its obvious nods to Ridley Scott and his development of an entire universe/world to surround these films, this will be a film not to be missed.
With most science fiction fare leaving the planet for interstellar adventures on alien worlds, it'll be a nice return back to a futuristic Philip K. Dick-ian earth. Until then, Jones's World of Warcraft adaption, Warcraft when it hits theaters June 10, 2016.