I always thought that Matt Drake's original screenplay "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman" had one of the freshest voices I had ever read when my producing partners Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa first brought it to me.
Which is probably why it has taken six years and a series of false starts and heartbreaking stops to finally make its way to the floor. Originality is not the most precious coin in the Hollywood realm these days. It's genre-defying blend of aching love story, comedy, edgy violence and trippy surrealism in a pitch-perfect tone of black absurdism that mirrors the sensibility of its Eastern European setting had many studios and financiers flirting with the project but ulitmately shying away in this risk adverse era of more formulaic and easily pigeon-holed fare.
You can see the surprised look on Matt's face as he finds himself sitting in the breakfast room of the Bucharest Marriott with director Fredrik Bond five weeks out from shooting and putting the finishing touches on the production polish of the script.
I hadn't been back to Bucharest in almost ten years, since the completion of principal photography of "Cold Mountain", Anthony Minghella's epic Civil War story which was mostly filmed in the mountains of Transylvania.
But as that film was rural and period, Charlie is contemporary and very urban, and the Bucharest I returned to was mostly unrecognizable to me from ten years ago.
Bond is one of the top commercial directors working in the world today and he is making his feature film debut on "Charlie". His uncanny eye and good taste have found some great locations for the film that capture in architecture and landscape the incongruous juxtaposition of romantic idealism and old world cynicism at the heart of Matt's fable.
This looks like the world's tiniest bar, but these gentlemen seem to be enjoying the intimacy of the space.
Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood and Mads Mikkelson are starring the film, but they hadn't arrived yet on this cold and rather inclement day of scouting.
But things will heat up soon in every way as the circus comes to town and Fredrik Bond and Matt Drake and their whole team of artists and technicians assemble in Romania to try to capture the anarchistic spirit of Bucharest and film the necessary death that will finally let "Charlie" live!