A few years back, Steven Spielberg announced that he would be adapting Stanley Kubrick’s legendarily unproduced screenplay about Napoleon into a miniseries. Since then, we haven’t heard any developments but now another Kubrick script may see the light of day: The Downslope, a project the director wrote in 1956 back when The Killing was released. Set during the Civil War, the film follows several battles in Shenandoah Valley between Union General George Custer and Confederate Colonel John Mosby, an epic perhaps in between the lines of Barry Lyndon or Paths of Glory.
It’s no secret that Kubrick’s my favorite director, and while I’d love to see The Downslope see the light of day (alongside The Aryan Papers), director Marc Forster is set to direct the screenplay, divided into three for a trilogy of films. Forster’s main credits include doing that James Bond movie no one liked and World War Z, which despite its surprising box office success was one of the most heavily ridiculed films of 2013. While he’s not a terrible director, Forster doesn’t have the background or sublety to take on the satirical biting edge that defines Kubrick’s work, making the entire project seem misplaced. The Downslope seems to be more suited for a Kubrick prodigy such as Paul Thomas Anderson, but under the hands of Forster may just implode on itself.
But who knows? A. I.: Artificial Intelligence is a misjudged masterpiece in my eyes, and The Downslope may end up being as good as that. On the downside, it could be as messy as 2010 or perhaps just be discarded. But what do you guys think?