Robert Zemeckis Exits Here There Be Monsters

Back To The Future director out, Dark Knight in?

Is American revolution naval hero John Paul Jones the next Captain Jack Sparrow?

Robert Zemeckis won’t be shooting monster flick Here There Be Monsters, according to the film’s producer.

“We’re talking about potential directors. Robert is not officially involved any more,” Todd Lieberman told SFX.

Still, with a script by Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential, Payback, Mystic River), this is one monster movie we’re excited to see.

“Brian wrote the script,” Lieberman confirmed, adding: “I haven’t worked with him before. He’s an A+ top-tier writer and has been for many many years. I’m a huge fan of his and it was wonderful to sit down and meet him.”

The project is still in the very early stages of preproduction but we know it takes the story of a real naval officer during the American Revolution and adds a twist.

“It’s an original idea that came from Thomas Tull, who runs Legendary Pictures. It’s basically a retelling of the John Paul Jones story but inserting a sea monster into the mix,” Lieberman says.

With a new director still to be chosen, does he have any thought on who he’d like to see in the role as Jones?

“I guess my stock answer now for any project we’re doing is that I want to keep working with Christian Bale,” he says on his dream casting. “He was so good in The Fighter and is such an awesome actor, I’ll put him in anything. He completely 100 per cent embodied Dickie Eklund. It was really fascinating to watch.”

Lieberman works as one half of a producing team with David Hoberman and the pair’s movies have racked up over a billion dollars of earnings – with Sandra Bullock vehicle The Proposal crossing that line. So what drew him to this sea-borne smackdown?

“It could be a great, historical, epic, fun, sea monster movie – something I’ve never done before,” he admits. “Hopefully we can get that one up and running.”

Todd Lieberman also produced The Muppets, which opens 23 November 2011 in the US and 10 February 2012 in the UK.

Matthew Chapman

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