Oscar-winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has been tapped to direct Vent, an upcoming psychological thriller from Alcon Entertainment, co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove announced. No casting details have been revealed yet.
Vent tells the story of a paranoid young man who believes a kidnapping victim is tapping messages to him through his apartment building air vent. This sounds exactly like the kind of paranoid thriller that should be in the wheelhouse of von Donnersmarck, who is best known for writing and directing The Lives of Others, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (as it was then called) at the 2007 ceremony. He followed it up with a flashy Hollywood debut, the Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp-starrer romantic thriller The Tourist, which opened to poor reviews, and was the butt of host Ricky Gervais’ jokes after being nominated for three Golden Globes.
The filmmaker bounced back with the twice Oscar-nominated drama Never Look Away, starring Tom Schilling and Sebastian Koch. The film was nominated at the 2019 Oscars in the Best International Film and Best Cinematography categories. Von Donnersmarck has a lean but diverse filmography, but he has proven himself a formidable filmmaker when he clicks.
Kosove and Johnson expressed their excitement at collaborating with the director, as well as writer Steven Karczynski. In their own words:
“The vision behind Vent is unique and thrilling, and between Steven Karczynski’s incredible writing, and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s ability to bring such films to life, we are thrilled to be a part of bringing this story to screens.”
There’s very little to go on at the moment; with the leanest of plot descriptions, no cast and crew announcements, and not even a logo or title treatment to help us get a vibe of the project, it’s difficult to gauge exactly what sort of psychological thriller Vent will be. But considering von Donnersmarck’s experience at directing a film that kind of falls into this same bracket — The Lives of Others — we can expect the project to be in safe hands.
Kosove and Johnson will produce the film. Karczynski and David Prior will also produce. Alcon’s upcoming projects include the horror feature Lullaby from director John R. Leonetti (Annabelle); and an animated film adaptation of the beloved cartoon strip Garfield from director Mark Dindal (The Emperor’s New Groove). Alcon recently announced it is developing the sci-fi classic Rendezvous with Rama with Denis Villeneuve who directed Blade Runner 2049 and Prisoners for the company.
Stay tuned to Collider for more updates.