He reportedly had a lot of help on V for Vendetta. Then he helped out as an 'additional director' on The Invasion. So when are we going to see if James McTeigue can direct a film solo? Possibly as early as next year, actually. The former first assistant director (The Matrix trilogy; Attack of the Clones) has just been hired to make Bangkok 8, a mystery thriller set in Thailand. Based on the first of a series of novels by John Burdett, Bangkok 8 follows the story of a Thai police detective investigating the murder of his partner and a U.S. marine, both of whom died by snake bite. The trail of the murderers takes the Buddhist detective, who is named Sonchai Jitpleecheep, into the seedy underground of the jade, drug and sex trades of Bangkok.

The movie should appeal to anyone familiar with Bangkok, as Burdett, who lives in Thailand, fills his books with plenty of commentary and insight about the city and its corruptions. But despite the fact that it sounds like too much of foreign film to attract the sort of fans McTeigue is used to, the movie will presumably have enough action elements to sell to a wide audience. One thing the novel has going for it, as far as multiplex interests are concerned, is an American love interest, described by Amazon.com as a "sexually frustrated FBI agent." Also, Sonchai apparently has conversations with the ghost of his dead partner. Millennium Films hopes to turn Burdett's series into a franchise of films, so McTeigue will definitely need to deliver something better than V for Vendetta. And since this time he will be without the assistance and guidance of the Wachowski Brothers, who are probably too busy making Speed Racer, I wish McTeigue a lot of luck.

CATEGORIES Cinematical