“I love the smell of napalm in the morning”
Joseph Conrad’s classic novella, Heart of Darkness is getting adapted into an animated feature. The book has previously inspired quotable films such as Apocalypse Now and, dare I say, Tropic Thunder? The narration is experimental-ish. An unnamed narrator tells the story of Charles Marlow who ends up telling another story. #framednarrative.
Marlow’s story begins with him explaining to his shipmates how he became captain of the Nellie, a steamboat for an ivory trading company. He tells the story of his journey down the Congo into the heart of Africa as well as his weird obsession with the ivory trader/visionary (not really) Kurtz, whose legend only seems to grow as the novella progresses.
Basically, he’s just a crazy person who convinces a bunch of natives he is a God. The novella was originally distributed as a three-part serial story, Conrad’s story took a hard look at British imperialism and racism. His argument was that there really isn’t much difference between the civilized world and the seemingly “uncivilized.”
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According to the Hollywood Reporter, actors Michael Sheen (married Kate Beckinsale once), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), and Andrew Scott (Sherlock) are set to voice the animation with award-winning director Gerald Conn will be at the helm. Apparently, some sort of sand will be used in the film’s depiction. Very appropriate given the setting. Sheen will voice Kurtz, Scott a Russian sailor, Rhys a relative of Marlow’s while Marlow himself is yet to be cast. The adaption has been written by Mark Jenkins and Mary Kate O Flanagan; it is set to premiere at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.
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Other than Apocalypse Now, nothing too significant has been done with Conrad’s story in recent memory. The Francis Ford Coppola directed Apocalypse Now was a very loose adaption that revolved around the Vietnam War—-Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Dennis Hooper, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford I vaguely remember Harrison Ford being in there at some point. It will be cool to see what Conn and company do with the animated approach. I doubt song and dance will be involved.
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