Aug 18, 2011

Tradecraft: Brian De Palma Returns to Spying

Deadline reports that Brian De Palma has signed on to direct his first spy movie since 1996's Mission: Impossible. He'll direct The Key Man for QED International and Safehouse Pictures. We first heard a vague description of The Key Man last month when the Joby Harold-written thriller was acquired last month for domestic distribution by Open Road; today, the trade blog provides more details. Apparently, it's about "a single father who's targeted by U.S. government agents because his body contains answers to important national secrets." As previously reported, the style is said to be "a throwback to paranoid 70s movies like Three Days of the Condor and Marathon Man." Despite some really horrendous movies of late (like Snake Eyes and The Black Dahlia), I really like De Palma, and I always look forward to his next film hoping for another Femme Fatale (a vastly underrated gem) or Carlito's Way. And while I'm not a big fan of the first Mission: Impossible film, that really has nothing to do with De Palma; it's because of what screenwriters David Koepp and Robert Towne chose to do with the Jim Phelps character. The directing is top-notch, with plenty of typical De Palma nods to classic spy movies past. I'm looking forward to seeing him tackle the genre again.

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