Shia LaBeouf has got to be one of the busiest, and most popular, young actors work in Hollywood at the moment. He's currently finishing Eagle Eye with D.J. Caruso, after which he will then move on to promote Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull until its release in late May, then I'm guessing he will be back on Transformers 2 for the rest of the summer (pending the actors' strike). And after that it seems like he'll probably move on to The Dark Fields next after also filming a part in Shekhar Kapur's segment of New York, I Love You. The Dark Fields is his latest announcement - a "techno thriller" from Universal.
The film is based on Alan Glynn's novel of the same name first published in 2002. Well-known screenwriter Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire, The Thomas Crown Affair, Just Like Heaven, Hairspray) will write the adaptation for Neil Burger, of The Illusionist and upcoming The Lucky Ones, to direct. Apparently Dixon took less than her usual pay to write the script "in exchange for having more control over the project." I'm hoping that's a good sign, although her past films don't say much about any "control" she's had.
Imagine a drug that makes your brain function with perfect efficiency, tapping into your most fundamental resources of intelligence and drive, releasing all the passive knowledge you'd ever accumulated. A drug that made you focused, charming, fast, even attractive. Eddie Spinola (LaBeouf) is on such a drug. It's called MDT-48, and it's Viagra for the brain–a designer drug that's redesigning his life. But while MDT is helping Eddie achieve the kind of success he's only dreamed about, it's also chipping away at his sanity-splitting headaches, spontaneous blackouts, violent outbursts. And now that he's hooked and his supply is running low, Eddie must venture into the drug's dark past to feed his habit. What he discovers proves that MDT, once a dream come true, has become his worst nightmare. You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon.com.
As is always the case, I'm usually interested in any sci-fi or "techno" movies (especially when they use that word to describe them). This sounds intriguing and I'm excited to see what Neil Burger can do with it. He did an exquisite job of jumping into the past with The Illusionist and I'm curious to see how he handles current day Iraq war issues in The Lucky Ones. There's a certain finesse required for pulling off unforgettable sci-fi movies and I really hope Neil has it - I don't want a story with potential like this one becoming the next Jumper. At least Shia LaBeouf, who I actually appreciate, will lead the way.