The Original Four Page “Sketch” That Became Looper

Rian Johnson’s ingenious Looper is headed to DVD and Blu-ray in the US next week, hitting stores the day after Christmas. I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. The turn of a New Year seems like a perfect time to watch it, in fact.

If you’ve already seen the film, however, you might want to read the four page “prose sketch” that Johnson wrote in 2002 and which provided the basis for the film. Available as a pdf, Johnson published the link via Tumblr. Here’s how it starts:

Time travel has not been invented yet. But in thirty years it will be. The mechanical process it requires will be cheap and relatively accessible to the public at large. Needless to say, it will be instantly outlawed, with even unwitting accessories – family, friends, business partners – punished with death. This will not stop certain unscrupulous characters from using it to their own ends. I guess I indirectly fit into that category.

Yep, that’s the tone of Looper and not just some of the machinery, and there’s even some of the dramatic heft.

It’s intriguing to think that Johnson might have more of these sitting around and that any one of them might be his next picture. There’s a sock drawer I’d like to go rooting through.


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