Fans of British director (and David Bowie spawn) Duncan Jones have been patiently awaiting a follow up film to Moon, the filmmakers’ grim 2009 debut for, well, you can do basic math. But Jones himself has been directing large budget features, including 2011’s Source Code, which was way better than it needed to be, and, now, Warcraft, which will divide audiences next year. (Note: the 2016 film is actually based on Warcraft I: Orcs & Humans, the original PC game, as opposed to the MMORPG World of Warcraft.)
It seems Jones has had a trilogy in mind for Moon and two subsequent films before the Sam Rockwell space romp was even released, but he hasn’t been granted the budget to continue. Though Moon concerned a solo mission in outer space, Mute follows a wordless bartender in a futuristic Berlin. Jones himself has promised a setting reminiscent of Blade Runner.
In 2013, Dark Horse Comics announced it would be publishing Jones’ concept art for Mute, the film he intended to make after Moon. Jones assumedly intended to use the graphic novel as pitching material to studios, but when he failed to get a bite, he directed Source Code instead.
Even Source Code was clearly crafted by a smart sci fi director, though it starred Jake Gyllenhaal and experimented on a much smaller scale than Mute promises to. The reveal of Gyllenhaal’s torso toward the end of the film packed the same emotional punch as Sam Rockwell realizing the truth in Moon. Jones has already demonstrated his ability to render heartbreaking human stories in unwieldy, high-tech, and implausible environments. The trailer for Warcraft doesn’t exactly look like art, but with Jones at the helm, the film is more likely to have real emotion at its core.
Jones has reportedly begun pre-production on Mute, though the film hinges its start on whether Warcraft makes enough money at the box office. Alexander Skarsgard, still searching for something to do post-True Blood, is rumored to be playing the lead. In a strange turn of events, fans of intellectually hard sci-fi may have to trot out to theaters to see Warcraft, which looks like a ridiculous fantasy cash-grab vehicle, if they want more of the artistry Duncan Jones promised us back in 2009.