Phoenix Pictures seems to be cornering the market on sci-fi properties. Fresh off the announcement that they will be rebooting the Robocop franchise with Darren Aronofsky comes word they are also producing the adaptation of sci-fi legend Robert Heinlein’s novella The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.
Since I’m unfamiliar with Heinlein’s work I’ll let THR do the synopsizing. “Originally published in 1942, the offbeat tale centers on a man who becomes increasingly disturbed when he realizes he cannot account for his activities during the day, or even what he does for a living. He divulges his problem to the husband-and-wife partners of a private detective agency, and their investigation leads to a series of revelations they could never have fathomed,” – sounds promising. The late writer also penned Starship Troopers, which was brought to the screen by Paul Verhoeven who also directed the original Robocop. Ah the circle of Hollywood life.
Alex Proyas is set to write and direct the project. More than a few would agree with me that Proyas hasn’t made a good picture since Dark City way back in 1998. I, Robot was bland and uninspired… which incidentally sums up most of Will Smith’s blockbuster offerings. Here’s hoping he can recapture the magic. The one time visionary is putting the finishing touches on Knowing with Nic Cage and is still attached to Dracula Year One for Universal. Hoag is a passion project for the helmer, who read the story as a child and describes it as being “part of my creative DNA.”
The $40-50 million production is eyeing a 2010 start.