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Joe 'NARC' Carnahan looks to be directing MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 instead of Fincher!

Hey folks, Harry here... The wondrous Zorianna Kit at The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Joe Carnahan is taking over from David Fincher as director of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3. Fincher is going to go shoot some skateboard movie. Meanwhile Joe Carnahan is doing this. Who the hell is Joe Carnahan? He's a fellow that I first met in a gym in Park City, Utah with folding chairs... actually, that's not entirely true, I met him in a white plastic tent outside that gym in Park City. He'd just made and was showing a film he made for even less money than Robert Rodriguez's EL MARIACHI... A nice little film called BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS AND OCTANE.

Then I see HIRE: TICKER - one of those BMW films, and frankly this one was my favorite of the series.

The next time I see this guy it is at the Spanish Riviera flanked by Ray Liotta and Jason Patric. He's got this new movie called NARC that kicks a whole helluvalot of ass. He still has that very intense look on his face of a man that doesn't suffer fools, so I avoid talking with him... lest I be a Wicker Man.

When I heard he was shooting the Scott Frank screenplay of Lawrence Block's great mystery A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES with Harrison Ford for a December 2003 release, I was very pleased. Carnahan is the sort of hungry no-nonsense directors that might inspire the hell out of Harrison.

After that he was going to direct KILLING PABLO based upon Mark Bowden's fantastic book about how Escobar ceased to be. And this was the film I was most looking for. He has Javier Bardem signed up to play Pablo. This was supposed to start shooting late this year, around the time A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES got in theaters.

Now all of that is in question. The TOMB RAIDER 2 screenwriter Dean Georgaris is rewriting Robert Towne... ... ... The TOMB RAIDER 2 screenwriter Dean Georgaris is rewriting Robert Towne... ... who apparently is still on board according to Zorianna, but, I want the weight of The TOMB RAIDER 2 screenwriter rewriting a Robert Towne script to sink in a bit. However, I'm not worried, because Carnahan knows his shit. For the first time on one of these MISSION IMPOSSIBLE films ya have an aggressively hungry badass directing. Now, I don't expect MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 to be a wart on the ass of NARC or even what KILLING PABLO will most likely be. Or even A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES... BUt if you watch TICKER... That's Carnahan having a blast as an action director. Just kicking it. And that's why I'm excited to have him on board this series, even if I did hate the last one passionately.

Now, Paramount wants MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 ready for Summer 2004, which means that either A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES or KILLING PABLO will be delayed. Probably not both, but just one. Given A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES has a finished script, it'll most likely still shoot, but maybe not. Let's see how this all plays out!

HARRY HERE - Just talked with Joe Carnahan for a bit here at Geek HQ and he seems to be very anxious to see what happens over the next several months. He's currently working on the screenplay for KILLING PABLO for Cruise/Wagner and Dreamworks... He tells me that there will be ALOT OF SPANISH in that film, and that it will focus on "The Chase" That point where the feds just decided, "We're gonna get him!" For Joe, the heart of that story is that the 7th Richest Man in the World ended in a shootout with an army and police force, with just his sole bodyguard and himself shooting it out. "That's Shakespearean!" Joe said, and yes... it is!

In regards to MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3, he's excited to be making the film. For Joe, Tom Cruise is a guy that works with great directors, that has a film like MAGNOLIA on his resume and wants to make a damn good movie. Joe doesn't want to phone this in, this is for him, that chance to really show what he's made of. To this point, his biggest budget film was the short film for BMW, which he actually had more money on than NARC... which kinda shows ya how remarkable NARC is... or how excessive BMW is, depending on where ya come from. He's had a great experience with Sherry Lansing on NARC, which he feels got a much larger audience than he was expecting, and that was through her excitement. When I brought up the idea of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE being about a team, he excitedly talked about getting great actors in there to surround Cruise with. Then brought up the cast he got together for his BMW short he shot (which admittedly is badass). So folks, here ya go. Carnahan is a new kid on the block for many of you, but he's hungry and makes emotionally wrought films filled with character, nerve and excitement. HOPEFULLY we'll see that in a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie, it'd be nice eh?

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