EXCLUSIVE: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck May Direct The Tourist After All


The Angelina Jolie/Johnny Depp thriller The Tourist is one of Hollywood's hottest projects, and it's something of a hot potato. Jolie and Depp replaced Charlize Theron and Sam Worthington, respectively, and until recently, Oscar-winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) was attached to direct. Last week, though, several outlets reported that von Donnersmarck was off the picture and that Alfonso Cuaron and other directors were circling the project in advance of a February start. I caught up with von Donnersmarck on the red carpet of the Behind the Camera Awards last night, and when I asked him what had happened with The Tourist, his answer surprised me.

As von Donnersmarck told me, he hasn't walked away from the project -- in fact, he's still attached to The Tourist for now. "In the trades, everything they say...I think you can discount a lot of it," he said. "It's just a way of talking about the business, and sometimes things get out about heated points of discussion. We'll see how it plays out with that one."

Von Donnersmarck has spent the years since The Lives of Others flirting with several projects (including The 28th Amendment), but he assured me that he'll be making a film in 2010, even if he's not yet certain which one it'll be.

"Whether I do The Tourist or not, I'm going to be doing something right afterward that I've been writing for quite a while and I'm now close to completion on," said the director, who presented an award last night to cinematographer Christian Berger. "It's like a political action drama," von Donnersmarck added, then smiled, unsure of himself. "Does that exist as a genre?"