‘The Actor’: Duke Johnson’s new after ‘Anomalisa’ is a criminal thriller with Ryan Gosling struggling to rebuild his memory

Duke Johnson has in his hands his return as a filmmaker after debuting six years ago with the singular ‘Anomalisa’ (2015), co-directed with Charlie Kaufman. The project is a “noir” entitled ‘The Actor’ and will have Ryan Gosling as the protagonist.

A crime thriller with Gosling in the 1950s

‘The Actor’ is an adaptation of ‘Memory’, the last novel written by Donald E. Westlake. The synopsis of the book clarifies that the protagonist is Paul Cole, who is hospitalized after a relationship with the wife of another man ended in violence.

The story takes place in the 1950s and follows Cole (Gosling) with the goal of rebuilding his shattered life. With his memory damaged, the police harassing him and unable to get home, Cole faces big trouble and a grim fate if he fails …

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‘Memory’ is sold as “a dark and painful portrait of the struggle of a man against ruthless forces that threaten to strip him of his identity“Sounds very promising and can make a great double program with Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento’ (2000).

Duke Johnson y Charlie Kaufman They were nominated for an Oscar for ‘Anomalisa’ but the statuette was taken ‘Backwards’ (‘Inside Out’, 2015). Recently, Johnson returned to collaborate with Kaufman as “animation producer” in ‘I’m thinking of leaving it’ (‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’, 2020). Kaufman will also be in this first Johnson film as a solo director, but this time he will only serve as an executive producer.

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Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson during the production of Anomalisa

Kaufman and Johnson during the production of Anomalisa

Let’s remember that he has an Oscar for the libretto of ‘Forget about me!’ (‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, 2004) and is one of the best known authors of American cinema. Without a doubt, your support will have been useful to raise a project like ‘The Actor’ and have a star like Ryan Gosling.

In addition to playing the title role, Gosling also participates as a producer. We saw him in the cinema for the last time leading ‘First Man’ and soon he will be the new werewolf of Universal, although before he has to finish shooting ‘The Gray Man’ under the orders of the Russo brothers.

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