1984 & Steve Jobs: 2 British Action Directors Stray From The Norm

If I asked you to think of the best British Action movie director, 99% of you would probably answer either Paul Greengrass or Danny Boyle.

Both have high profile movies in production. Both of these movies completely uproot their reputations.

Greengrass will jump on board a new adaptation of 1984, the seminal dystopian novel from George Orwell.

Boyle, on the other hand, is tackling a biopic of Steve Jobs, the late Apple co-founder, through his sacking from the behemoth technology company and eventual celebrated return. (Casting problems permitting…)

Both sound promising. So what’s so ‘crazy’?

John Hurt 1984
John Hurt excelled as the protagonist Winston in the most recent adaption of 1984, from 1984.

Take a look at Greengrass’ last few movies – Captain Phillips: Heart-in-mouth naval action. Green Zone: Intense modern warfare. The Bourne Ultimatum: The epitome of a blood-pumping chase movie.

And 1984? Political satire, near-apocalyptic love story… Slices of action but not chunks.

That doesn’t sound very Greengrass to me – his shaky-cam style could easily get irritating on top of so much dialogue.

Now Boyle – Trance: Trippy heist flick. 127 Hours: Blood-curdling survival slog. Slumdog Millionaire: Bollywood romance.

And Steve Jobs: One Last Thing? Unless I’m forgetting a famous zombie encounter of his, or when he chopped off his own arm, it’s quite clearly a more mellowed piece than we’re used to from Danny.

James Franco's lead character gruesomely chops his own arm off to escape entrapment in 127 Hours.
James Franco’s lead character gruesomely chops his own arm off to escape entrapment in 127 Hours.

The great thing about these two Directors is that you wouldn’t bet against either of them succeeding with their offbeat endeavours. They have enough awards to swim in (including an Oscar) for a reason.

Boyle has won us over time and time again with excursions into sci-fi (Sunshine), drugs (Trainspotting) and even a zombie flick (28 Days Later), so why not do straight-down-the-line drama?

It may be that Greengrass chooses to adapt 1984 through a vamped-up, adrenaline-fuelled vein and make it his own. Or it may be that he also is slowing it down and dicing with deep dystopia, true to the novel.

I don’t care if either of them were remaking the bloody Borrowers. My money would be on it being top-notch.

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