More Information for Duncan Jones' MUTE sci-fi Blade Runner inspired project

Movie Duncan Jones by Joey Paur


We recently got word that Duncan Jones, the director of Moon, is moving on to a new film project called Source Code, instead of getting started on his original sci-fi film idea, Mute. He stated that Mute, is a hard sell right now. This script review over at ScriptShadow may shed some light on why that is. There are two separate drafts of the script that were written, and here are a few excerpts from the review that you might find interesting.

Duncan Jones is quoted as saying that he chose Source Code over his own project, Mute, because Mute was a “hard sell.” After reading it, I’m thinking that might be the understatement of the century. This is a very challenging and alienating script. At times it’s as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and at others as rough as a piece of sandpaper. Mute is one of those personal projects that probably won’t appeal to anyone outside a tiny niche audience. It appears that Jones knows this, and is perfectly okay with it. Moon was never going to light up the box office either, yet it already has a rabid fanbase. The question is, does Mute satisfy on any level? Man, that's a really hard question to answer.

That doesn't sound too good. At the same time, I loved the hell out of Moon, and I like everything that Duncan has said regarding Mute. I might just be in that tiny niche audience. Now here is a detailed story breakdown.

Mute centers on a brutish 40 year old man named Leo, who lost his ability to speak in a childhood boating accident. The cautious and perceptive Leo lives in Germany now, where he’s fallen in love with a striking Afghan woman named Naadirah. The two are inseparable, both working as waiters at a sketchy local club.

In another part of town, an obnoxious American named Cactus Bill is looking to acquire a fake pair of passports for his foreign wife and daughter so he can finally go home to the United States. Although it was never quite clear to me how Bill got stuck in Germany, he seems hell-bent on getting out. His journey is complicated, however, by the debt he owes Germany’s large Russian crime syndicate, as well as the suspicious behavior of his closest confidant, who may or may not be a pedophile targeting Bill’s daugther.

Back in Leo’s world, he wakes up to find that Naadirah is gone. At first he assumes she’s at work, but when she doesn't answer a series of texts, he becomes suspicious. An investigation turns into a slow and purposeful pursuit, as he does a toned down imitation of Liam Neeson, and raises hell in future Berlin's shady underbelly. Along the way, he finds out a shocking secret about her that changes everything.

Mute bounces back and forth between Leo's pursuit and Cactus Bill waiting for his passports. And this, I believe, is where Mute really falters. The story is called Mute. Leo is the mute. Yet we spend what seems like an endless amount of time watching Cactus Bill and his assistant sit around and talk about nothing. Their storyline is so passive compared to Leo’s, that it's really a labor to get through. They’re essentially waiting around for passports to be made. I wanted them to do something, to go after something. But the story doesn't seem to know what to do with them. They're just...there.

There is no doubt that the movie is going to have a heavy film noir feel to it within a sci-fi setting, much like Blade Runner -- which is the inspiration behind the story. I'm a big fan of both the sci-fi and film noir genre, so regardless of what this script review say's I am still looking forward to the film getting made. You also have to factor in what the film will look like when with the world that is created for it. Click Here to read the full script review.

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