Claire Denis and Zadie Smith Team Up for New Sci-Fi Film
At the moment, plot details are sketchy. It will be a sci-fi film, set in outer space, "beyond the solar system, in a future that seems like the present." Denis has dipped her toe in genre film before, with vampires in Trouble Every Day, war and soldiers in Beau Travail, and the sort-of road film in Friday Night, but her take has always come far out of left field, challenging the common tropes and aesthetics. Based on an original idea by Denis and her regular writing partner Jean-Pol Fargeau, Denis and Smith are collaborating on the script, along with Smith's husband and fellow writer Nick Laird.
Smith's first best-selling novel White Teeth, was adapted as a four-part drama for UK television, and her recent book On Beauty is currently in development. While both these books seem to be set in a social realist narrative, like Denis, Smith's approach to her stories has an eclectic and naturalistic feel that expresses an off-kilter and intriguing tone.
Other collaborators include Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (whose work featured in Denis' short, Contact by Olafur Eliasson), and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau, with Stuart Staples of Tindersticks writing the score.
The film is due to begin shooting in Cologne later this year. I for one will be keeping a close eye on what could be a very exciting film, adding to the recent renaissance of intelligent sci-fi films.