It's always interesting watching a film struggle through a whole series of different configurations of star and director and even studio before finally coming together, and there are movies where you could write an entire book about all the versions of something that did NOT get made.

In the case of "The Tourist," it really looks like the more things get shuffled around, the sharper the final film threatens to be.

When the film was first announced, Tom Cruise and Charlize Theron were attached as the stars.  I think both of them can be effective in the right films, but I can't imagine they'd have much chemistry together. She's got such a strong alpha personality that I think she and Cruise would spend the whole movie wrasslin' to see who's on top, and that friction would be the whole show, instead of the film itself.  Sam Worthington was the first replacement for Cruise, and Florian von Donnersmarck was brought on to replace Bharat Nalluri as the director.  I quite liked "The Lives Of Others," and was curious to see what von Donnersmarck was going to bring to the movie.

Didn't happen, though.  It looks like it's fallen apart again. 

Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnny Depp may sign on to star opposite Angelina Jolie, which would be reason enough for the film to jump to the top of my "now I'm curious" list, but in the same piece, they suggest that Alfonso Cuaron may be signing on to direct.

Wait a minute... this is now an Alfonso Cuaron movie with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie?

Forget curious.  Now I'm hooked.  Yes, please.

What is "The Tourist," anyway, that it keeps trading up like this? 

Here's the description that the Reporter ran:

"The revamp of the 2005 French spy thriller 'Anthony Zimmer' involves a female Interpol agent who ropes an everyman American tourist visiting France into being bait in the hunt for a wanted criminal who's also her former lover." 

Ahhhh.  Interesting.  I just watched "North By Northwest" this afternoon, gaping at how gorgeous that new BluRay is, but also amazed again by how simple Hitchcock makes it look, this sort of "mistaken identity on the run" thriller.  When done right, it can be a very dynamic framework for a thriller, and this cast seems to suggest that there's more to this than just chase scenes.

Here's hoping this is the group that ends up making the movie, because that sounds like a welcome addition to 2010 to me. 

We'll keep you posted as Sony makes their decisions.  If Johnny Depp does choose to shoot this before "Pirates Of The Caribbean 4," expect things to move very quickly.

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