The good news is that Josh Hartnett has a brand-new movie called "Bunraku" that sounds like it could be "Sin City" all over again. The bad news, unfortunately, is that he also broke the news to me at Sundance that his passion project about the legendary Chet Baker is now dead.
"It's not gonna happen," the "30 Days of Night" star sighed. "We’ve been working on this for years, and the producers and I just couldn’t see eye-to-eye."
As you might recall, the 29-year-old heartthrob broke the news to MTV at Sundance 2007 that he was expecting to play the drug-addled jazz man sometime this year. Titled "The Prince of Cool," the project was at various points rumored to be flirting with "Driving Miss Daisy" director Bruce Beresford. Now, nearly a year to the day, Hartnett is officially squashing his "Prince" project.
"They just wanted to bang something out," he said of producers Julie Allen ("Night of the Demons III"), Pieter Kroonenburg ("My 5 Wives"), and Jonathan Vanger ("The Last Sign"). "There were a lot of biopics coming out at the time, and they just wanted to be a part of that."
For Hartnett, a lifelong fan of such jazz pioneers as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, who became captivated by Baker's tragic tale in recent years, the idea of jumping on a "Walk the Line" and "Ray" pig-pile turned him off. "They didn’t want to make something that was new," he frowned. "And the story was just too spectacular."
Instead, Hartnett's '08 will consist of hitting film festivals with "August" and "I Come With the Rain" (which was recently accepted by Cannes), and relocating to Romania to shoot the papier-mache and puppetry action flick "Bunraku."
"Some people have the rights to his life," Hartnett sighed, saying goodbye to Chet Baker forever. "What are you gonna do?