Marc Forster to Turn Stanley Kubrick's 'The Downslope' into a Trilogy
New Stanley Kubrick movies?! Not just one, but an entire trilogy? Whoa! Cool. Deadline is reporting that Marc Forster, director of Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace, Machine Gun Preacher and World War Z previously, has signed on to develop a feature film trilogy based on Stanley Kubrick's lost original screenplay The Downslope, that Kubrick wrote in 1956. Forster will direct & produce the first movie in the trilogy, then will only produce the other two, with other directors being lined up (most likely, but as of yet unconfirmed). This will be a "sweeping, historical action-drama" during the Civil War about Confederate Army Col. John S. Mosby who goes after Gen. Custer.
The legendary, seminal filmmaker Stanley Kubrick originally wrote the script for The Downslope in 1956, apparently spending years "studying, developing and writing the story." He wrote it after the release of Fear and Desire, before he went on to make Paths of Glory, though it was never adapted. Back in 2012 there was buzz that the script was going to be adapted into a TV series for eOne TV, but that never came to fruition. Instead, it will now be turned into a feature trilogy with producers Lauren Selig (Everest, Lone Survivor), Barry Levine (Hercules, Oblivion) and Reneé Wolfe behind it, along with the original rights holders, too.
Written by Stanley Kubrick and based on a true story by Civil War historian Shelby Foote, Downslope is an epic Civil War drama following the activities of Confederate Army Colonel John S. Mosby and his plot to settle the score after Custer captures and hangs several of his men.
Kubrick was so invested in the details of The Downslope, he even created maps and provided notes about how he planned to shoot the Civil War epic. This new version of the project is said to have the full support from the Kubrick family. Perfectly suited for today, the script is an anti-war story about the "bitter, strategic series of Civil War battles in the Shenandoah Valley between young Union General George Armstrong Custer and Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby (known as the Gray Ghost for his stealth strategies). His cavalrymen, known as Mosby's Rangers, continually outsmarted the much-larger enemy forces in a sequence of raids, which enraged Custer and eventually created a fierce cycle of revenge between the two men." Word is that Forster's trilogy will expand the story to focus on America's drive west following the war.
Marc Forster seems like a very interesting and unexpected choice for this series, but he is obviously very passionate about it. Years ago, there may have been more enthusiasm for Forster but he lost many of his followers after Quantum of Solace and Machine Gun Preacher. I'm not even a big fan of World War Z, but I'm hoping he's getting back to his roots (and his drive to make visually striking and thoroughly engaging movies) with The Downslope. We'll keep an eye out for the latest updates on this new film trilogy from here.