After their last collaboration, the breathtaking space odyssey Gravity (which I picked as the best film of 2013), was met with stunning box office numbers and a grand total of seven Oscars, father-son pair Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón are obviously excited to team up on additional projects. Currently, the duo are working on Forsaken, previously known as Desierto, a chase thriller set in the Mexican desert.
Jonás wrote the script with Mateo Garcia, will get behind the camera to direct, and will also produce alongside Alfonso. Now, we’re hearing that Forsaken may bear more similarities to Gravity than initial details about the film had suggested.
The Cuaróns were at Cannes this week, along with IM Global, to talk with potential buyers about how they envision Forsaken unfolding on the big screen. While at the festival, IM Global Founder and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Ford had some interesting comments about the film.
Ford explained, “In a way, Forsaken is a de facto prequel to Gravity,” adding that:
“Jonas and Alfonso were working on the screenplay of ‘Forsaken,’ then called ‘Desierto,’ when they had a very similar concept and put it in space. So ‘Forsaken’ has a lot of themes similar to ‘Gravity.’ It’s about someone in a spectacularly peaceful but perilous environment trying to get home.”
Given the clear differences between the space-set survival adventure and the desert-set chase thriller, it looks like, as Ford is saying, any relationship between Graviy and Forsaken would have to be thematic. We know a little bit about the story for Forsaken already, and what has emerged suggests that it could utlize the same themes of loneliness, death and the human spirit that Gravity so excelled in communicating.
Forsaken will star Gael García Bernal as a man who attempts to cross an unguarded part of the Sonoran Desert from Mexico into America. When his fellow immigrants are shot off one by one by a deranged vigilante, his journey turns into a desperate struggle for survival. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) and Diego Cataño (Savages) have been linked to the project, with Morgan playing the vigilante and Cataño taking on the role of a young member of the protagonist’s group.
Though the younger Cuarón hasn’t done a lot behind the camera yet, a short companion piece to Gravity called “Aningaaq” showed that he really understands how to communicate isolation and the tremendous power of nature. Those skills should come in handy for Forsaken, which is shaping up into a very interesting and thoughtful entry into the thriller genre.