Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev, helmer of the critically-lauded adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, has signed on for CBS Film’s The Keep. Based on Jennifer Egan’s novel of the same title, the gothic thriller follows a pair of cousins who are forced to confront their childhood demons while restoring a secluded medieval castle. Scribe Ehren Kruger (The Ring) shopped the screenplay to Rogue Pictures in 2006, but the deal deflated with Relativity’s acquisition of the production house. David Fincher is currently filming a re-adaptation of Dragon Tattoo with Daniel Craig in the starring role as muckraking journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of The Keep as well as my thoughts on Oplev helming the adaptation.
Here’s the quick-and-dirty summary (via Google Books) :
“Award-winning author Jennifer Egan brilliantly conjures a world from which escape is impossible and where the keep –the tower, the last stand –is both everything worth protecting and the very thing that must be surrendered in order to survive.
Two cousins, irreversibly damaged by a childhood prank, reunite twenty years later to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe. In an environment of extreme paranoia, cut off from the outside world, the men reenact the signal event of their youth, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a prisoner, in jail for an unnamed crime, recounts an unforgettable story that seamlessly brings the crimes of the past and present into piercing relation.”
Did the premise catch your fancy? Read all but 20-odd pages of the novel here.
With Dragon Tattoo, Oplev verified that he is entirely capable of maintaining the delicate equilibrium between convolution and tension that mysteries require. With a plot that oozes with potential for surrealist imagery and one that The Hollywood Reporter analogously describes as “The Ring meets Inception”, I’m optimistic that Oplev will not only match the intensity of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but trump it.