Director Alex Proyas’s next project will be getting an adaption of Robert Heinlein’s The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag onto the big screen. Proyas has not had much success in getting planned films in front of the cameras over the past year or so with both Dracula Year Zero and Paradise Lost being scrapped over budgetary concerns.
Proyas will be working from his own adaption of Heinlein’s 1942 novella. The press release from production company Red Granite summarizes the plot as –
In “Hoag,” the title character is struck one evening with the realization that he has no memory of what he does during the day. Distraught over his predicament, and particularly concerned that he might be engaged in some nefarious activities, he contacts a husband and wife detective agency and asks them to surreptitiously follow him. The truth takes a dark and ultimately earth-shattering turn as their investigation leads to a series of frightening revelations, beginning with a group of shadowy figures who gravely warn of dire consequences unless the pair immediately cease their inquiry into the nature of Hoag’s identity.
Based on that description, it is easy to believe where the press release mentions that the story was one of the inspirations for Proyas’ own 1998 classic Dark City.
The director hopes to have the project in front of cameras this fall in Australia. Although there have been attempts to adapt the grandmaster’s work to the big screen, Proyas will be only the second attempt to actually make it after 1997’s adaption of Starship Troopers from Paul Veerhoeven.