Saturday, April 24, 2010

John Mosby as seen by Shelby Foote and Stanley Kubrick...

...Well, sort of.

To the deep interest of my dual movie and Civil War geekiness, I was surprisingly pleased to discover that a long lost Stanley Kubrick proposed film, written in part by novelist Shelby Foote, is in the resurrection stage in Hollywood. The film, entitled The Down Slope, is said to be a grand epic of the adventurous and often colorful escapades of Confederate leader John Singleton Mosby and his Partisan Rangers. Like Kubrick's Paths of Glory, the film is said to have a strong anti-war sentiment. How that message will be interjected into the sometimes humorous misadventures of Mosby's Rangers, I do not know. Fellow Civil War blogger Dimitri Rotov has written on this film as well. I recently discovered this excerpt from Collider film website:

The late Oscar-winning director Stanley Kubrick held high esteem for years while he was still alive, and now that he has since passed, Hollywood isn’t ready to let his genius slip away. Philco Films is prepping three properties based on scripts by Kubrick, according to Screen Daily, and they seem to reflect the late film-maker’s varied career. The first will be a large-scale Civil War film entitled Downslope. The second, Lunatic At Large, will star Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell, and the third is a TV series called God Fearing Man that revolves around a famous bank robber in the early 20th century.

Philco Films isn’t aiming low with any of these properties either, as they are targeting A-list casts and crew to bring these three pieces to life. For a more detailed look at each project and the plans behind them, hit the jump.

The staple of the three upcoming properties is the Civil War drama, Downslope. Philco will give the film a $100 million budget to work with and are building from the ground up. The script, which Kubrick based on a short story by historian Shelby Foote, follows John Singleton Mosby’s famous Confederate cavalry known as Mosby’s Rangers, and will reportedly involves spies and toe the line between both sides of the war.

“We are approaching A-list directors for the project because it is an A-list script,” says Steven Lanning, co-founder of Philco Films, while speaking with Screen Daily. While they are shooting for an A-list cast as well, he understands that they “need the director first.”

Although America would seem to be the obvious spot for shooting, the plan is to shoot next year in Europe instead. Part of the reasoning is that the historic battlegrounds in which the period piece will focus on look vastly different today, but also because they are receiving heavy interest from European financiers....

To not film such a movie in the unique and recognizable countryside of the Shenandoah Valley would be a crime in my opinion. But then again, as seen in Cold Mountain, Europeans are shorter and thinner. Meanwhile, America's reenactor community grows old and rotund. Either way, the film has the potential to be the next Barry Lyndon, a sweeping historical epic rich in characters and scenery; or Pearl Harbor (an utter disastrous interjection of romance into historical fact). Only time and production will tell.


  1. I too feel that to film this movie in Europe would be a crime. Countless men died during the Civil War, and their deaths should be honored by having the movie filmed here on American soil. However, I do look forward to hearing more about the movie, and the cast. An A-list cast would bring more interest to movie goers, and at the same time, teach the human side of the Civil War to people who sorely lack any knowledge to our country's rich history.

  2. This was posted over four years ago! Has anything come of this film project? You can also check out my book from The History Press - Mosby's Raids in Civil War Northern Virginia!