It’s been a long, winding road for Duncan Jones, who’s been trying for years to make his sci-fi passion project, Mute. But now the Warcraft director can take a victory lap because the film finally has an official release date on Netflix.
Jones wrote about his experience to get Mute off the ground in a Twitter thread posted Friday, and it ended with the news that his project will debut on the streaming platform this Feb. 23.
Big Little Lies Emmy-winner Alexander Skarsgård stars as Leo, a mute bartender who lost the ability to speak after a childhood accident. Set in Berlin in the year 2052, Mute follows his quest through the seedy underbelly of the neon-laced city to find his missing girlfriend, Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh).
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Justin Theroux (The Leftovers) also feature as Leo’s only recurring clues: two American surgeons.
“So some of you may be aware that I have previously called @Mute my Don Quixote,” Jones wrote in the first of his tweets. “I did this, as much like [director] Terry Gillian’s fabled film of that name, it seemed everything was against Mute ever being made.”
To really hammer home how long he’s been developing Mute, Jones then showed a draft of the script he wrote in 2003. “Back then, the film was a very different beast,” he wrote, adding how the setting was initially contemporary London.
“It was going to be my first film,” Jones continued. “I sent it to Sam Rockwell who loved it! …but he wanted to play Leo, the part that would later go to Alex Skarsgård. I wouldn’t budge but was so enamored with Sam, I decided to write something just for him. That was Moon.”
Moon ended up being Jones’ first feature film, released in 2009.
The filmmaker noted how “Mute kept being pushed to the back burner” as he went on to direct Source Code and Warcraft; his wife, Rodene Ronquillo, successfully battled cancer; his father, David Bowie, passed away; he welcomed his first baby to the world; and Marion Skene, Jones’ nanny as a child, died of brain cancer.
Jones then attempted to make Mute as a graphic novel with Glenn Fabry, but it “never fully came to fruition.”
“But one day…@netflix came to town!” he wrote. “Netflix, these crazy new kids on the block, had this totally crazy philosophy on filmmaking straight out of the ’70s. Don’t make 4 quad ‘please everyone’ homogenous blobs! Make films [filmmakers] are passionate about & let the audience find them!”
So, yes, it’s been a very long road indeed.