For all that I Am Legend imploded with that awful doctored ending, it was actually really interesting for a while -- mostly because both Will Smith and director Francis Lawrence were willing to go surprisingly far in suggesting that isolation had actually driven Smith's Robert Neville to no-kidding insanity. It's the kind of bold move that can make an otherwise frivolous summer blockbuster into something special.
It's promising, then, that Lawrence and Smith are looking to team up on a project that reads like one enormous bold gesture. The City That Sailed, which Lawrence has signed on to direct and develop for Smith to star in, is about a father and daughter who live on different continents, he in New York and she in England -- until the daughter's wish for a reunion is granted in the form of the island of Manhattan breaking off from the U.S. seaboard and carrying dad across the pond.
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I have to say that this seems like it would inconvenience a whole lot of people. But it seems churlish to stand in the way of a father and daughter being reunited just because you happen to live in Brooklyn. In any case, what makes this project particularly auspicious is that it's based on a screenplay by my hero Andrew Niccol, though it will be reworked by Steven Soderbergh collaboratorsBrian Koppelman and David Levien.
Alas, this project is second in line for Lawrence, who is committed to first direct the period piece Water for Elephants. Something about a circus, I don't know.