After a series of stalled development efforts, with both Paradise Lost and Dracula Year Zero run aground in the last couple of years, Dark City and The Crow director Alex Proyas is heading back to a long-time passion project, setting himself to work on an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's mysterious novel, The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.
Proyas started working on the film with Phoenix Pictures on the film back in 2008, and they're still involved, alongside several other producers – amongst them Amazing Spider-Man and Zodiac screenwriter James Vanderbilt, and Shutter Island and Battle Angel screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis.
The novel's story has elements a little reminiscent, to me at least, of Philip K. Dick, Cronenberg's film of The Naked Lunch and David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees. Sort of. Here's a blurb from Amazon:
Jonathan Hoag has a curious problem. Every evening, he finds a mysterious reddish substance under his fingernails, with no memory of how it got there. Jonathan hires the husband-and-wife detective team of Ted and Cynthia Randall to follow him during the day and find out. But Ted and Cynthia find themselves instantly out of their depth. Jonathan leaves no fingerprints. His few memories about his profession turn out to be false. Even stranger, Ted and Cynthia's own memories of what happens during their investigation do not match. There is a thirteenth floor to Jonathan's building that does not exist, there are mysterious and threatening beings living inside mirrors, and all of reality is not what they thought it was. Part supernatural thriller, part noir detective story, Heinlein's trip down the rabbit hole leads where you never expected.
The novel is currently out of print and, at the same time, available in paperback for just a few cents. Let's see what the adaptation does to that state of affairs.