Trachtenberg On “Crime,” “Y: The Last Man”

He shot to fame with an inspired short film based on the “Portal” video game series, and now his new film “10 Cloverfield Lane” is both a box-office and critical darling. So what’s next for rising young filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg?

Slashfilm spoke with the direct late last week and touched upon two other projects he’s been linked with. The first is a time travel action heist film titled “Crime of the Century”.

Trachtenberg has been actively developing the idea for several years with writers Daniel Kunka and Gary Doberman taking a shot. He admits when it was sold it was still a basic idea rather than a full script, so it has taken time to develop:

“Crime of the Century is a badass time travel heist movie. And I’m desperate to make it. It’s still in development. Hopefully now that I’ve finished up with this, I could swing back into that and I would love to make that next. It’s a really original, very unique, exciting action movie that’s as smart as it is fun. So I would hope that I get a chance to make it.

Time travel movies are very complicated. … We just pitched the story. And I had a little sizzle reel made for it. And that’s what sold. Just the idea. And so yeah, we’ve been working on it ever since. Hopefully we’ll be able to get back into it.”

Far more high-profile though was “Y: The Last Man,” a long in the works film adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s acclaimed comic. Trachtenberg was attached and the film was nearing a green light when New Line lost its option on the property. Speaking of that loss, Trachtenberg says:

“I loved so much what we were doing with that and I loved working on it with everyone. But the rights sort of dried up and we still hadn’t quite nailed the movie. And I think now Brian is trying to make it a TV show.

It’s funny that’s what I wanted when I first read it and everyone the whole time always felt like, oh I wish this could be a TV series. I was actually really excited to make it a movie because we have so much great TV. And in fact I think we have a lot of great TV that have been inspired by Y: The Last Man and things like it.

So I was excited to bring something like that to the big screen. Something that was so character oriented and had something to say, but that could also be really exciting, especially expanding on that on the big screen. But I’m sure it’ll be an awesome TV series as well.”

Talking about his approach to the material, Trachtenberg revealed what his plan would have been:

“It was very much a combination of the first two trades, the first movie was going to be. And it combined some characters in the story. Some of the threats into one… It combined some of the threats. But I looked a lot at Big Trouble in Little China for inspiration, ’cause that’s a movie where the protagonist is actually the sidekick and Yorick is very much the sidekick to much stronger, capable heroes being women.

Raiders of the Lost Ark was a major influence ’cause it really was fun to dig into some set pieces that in the comic were just a couple pages, but or a splash page even and for us would be a whole sequence. So in the comic there’s a splash page where they’re on a train and they’re getting robbed by bandits. And that’s sort of the end of it. But for us that was a full sequence. That was a whole like throwback to a Great Train Robbery and Wild Wild West, but in a modern train. And just digging into that was super fun.

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is now in cinemas.