Back in 1999, Stanley Kubrick’s son-in-law discovered an 80 page treatment commissioned by the filmmaking maestro entitled Lunatic At Large .
It was found, obviously, after the director’s death, and hence has never been turned into a film. But its chances of finally making it to the big screen are suddenly looking up.
According to Production Weekly , Iron Man 2 co-stars Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson are attached to the project, which is now deemed something of a buried treasure.
Kubrick’s treatment was written in the 1950s by pulp author Jim Thompson at the director’s request and is described as a dark mystery about an axe-murderer on the loose.
The New York Times ran a report on the discovery back in 2006, and chatted to Philip Hobbs, the son-in-law in question. Back then, he said:
"When Stanley died, he left behind lots of paperwork. We ended up going through trunks of it, and one day we came across Lunatic At Large .
“I knew what it was right away, because I remember Stanley talking about Lunatic . He was always saying he wished he knew where it was, because it was such a great idea.”
The NY Times then went on to provide an in-depth, fascinating insight into the 2006 script based on Thompson’s treatment, revealing the 1956-set story follows “Johnnie Sheppard, a former carnival worker with serious anger-management issues, and Joyce, a nervous, attractive barfly he picks up in a Hopperesque tavern scene”.
After “a romantic interlude in a spooky, deserted mountain lodge”, the main set piece finds Joyce in a carnival at night, wandering among an Alligator Man, Mule-Faced Woman and Midget Monkey Girl.
We’re assuming that Rockwell is keen on the role of Johnnie (or that Alligator Man?), while Johansson presumably has her eye on Joyce – and we can’t say we blame them. They sound like great roles – and the latter in particular would be perfectly suited to that period.
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