The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman is producing the time travel film.
Writing a convincing time travel story is a tough nut to crack. We’re quick to buy into Marvel movies about men with magical hammers but if a director doesn’t properly establish their film’s time travel rules, it destroys our suspension of disbelief like nobody’s business. Effectively defining how a script’s time travel rules function can mean the difference between the simple but effect classic, The Terminator, and its incoherent progeny, Terminator Genisys. So, it’s exciting to find out that for their new time-travel property, The Comeback, Sony hired the director behind one of the best time travel movies of this century.
Variety reports that Sony is teaming up with Robert Kirkman’s production company, Skybound, to produce, The Comeback, a film based on the Image Comics title, “Comeback,” written by Ed Brisson and illustrated by Michael Walsh. The story centers on, “two operators of an illegal venture that helps rescue loved ones before they die by going back in time. When one of them meets a future version of himself, they find themselves on the run from the FBI and their employers, who want to kill them to protect their own dark and deadly secrets.”
There are a few reasons to get pumped over the announcement. First off, Kirkman created the comic book series, “The Walking Dead,” and executive produced the 2010 AMC TV series of the same name. Kirkman knows a thing or two about adapting live-action genre stories, as The Walking Dead went on to become one of cable television’s biggest phenomenon. Even more exciting though is Sony’s choice to helm the project, Colossal director, Nacho Vigalondo.
Vigalondo has a penchant for selecting unique projects and making bold choices. His thriller, Open Windows, is a chilling examination of our obsession with electronic screens; his giant monster movie, Colossal, offers a new take on the classic kaiju genre; and Vigalondo’s segment in the horror anthology film, V/H/S Viral, titled “Parallel Monsters,” was…lets just say, memorable.
In 2007, Vigalondo gave the world Timecrimes, a masterfully executed sci-fi thriller that deals with, you guessed it, time travel. Many sci-fi fans point to Shane Carruth’s lo-fi 2004 time travel film, Primer, as the genre’s gold standard. Carruth unpacks the mystery behind time travel in a dry, by the numbers, and matter of fact way. You may not follow the mechanics of what’s going on but somewhere along the way, the film’s methods feel possible. The problem with Primer is that it’s a mumblecore sci-fi movie and not the most gripping watch. Timecrimes takes that same level of reverence to time travel rules but throws in the propulsive dramatic tension of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.
Timecrimes dropped a decade ago and Vigalondo has only had more time to hone his craft. Colossal, which he also wrote, was one of 2016’s under the radar gems and I’m curious to see what new tricks he has up his sleeve for his return to telling time travel stories. I’ll be keeping a close eye on The Comeback as it heads into production.
If you haven’t seen Timecrimes it’s worth going out of your way to find. Here’s a brief synopsis:
A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.