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Ryan Gosling’s Latest Project Is Deep Sea Mystery ‘The Underwater Welder’

The Underwater Welder
Top Shelf Productions

Hey girl, how would you like to watch a movie about someone going crazy underwater? Fresh off the success of La La Land, the internet’s boyfriend  —  or the internet’s ex-boyfriend, I really struggle to stay on top of these things — has finally found a comic book he wants to attach his name to. According to IDW Entertainment (via iO9), Ryan Gosling will produce a film adaptation of The Underwater Welder, a 2012 graphic novel by renowned comic book author Jeff Lemire.

Described by its publisher as “equal parts blue-collar character study and mind-bending mystery,” The Underwater Welder tells the story of Jack Joseph, a deep sea diver who  —  due to the pressures of his alienating work and his impending fatherhood  —  is coming apart at the seams. During one particularly deep dive, Jack stumbles across something extraordinary that allows him to communicate with his own deceased father. If that sounds a bit like a bad Frequency knock-off, think again: The Underwater Welder was one of the best reviewed graphic novels of 2012, with NPR’s Glenn Weldon  —  no slouch when it comes to the history and evaluation of comic books  —  describing the underwater imagery as “poignant and masterful.”

While Gosling does have a handful of producing credits to his name, there’s a noticeable link between Gosling’s producing credits and his edgier work as an actor. Blue Valentine, Only God Forgives, and Lost River  —  the latter of which he also wrote and directed  —  all suggest that Gosling is more interested in developing passion projects for himself than, say, taking the Brad Pitt route and quietly putting money behind some interesting independent film. Gosling is no stranger to characters unhappy with their lot in life; Jack Joseph could be a nice pivot for the actor in a year spent mostly in musicals (La La Land) and comedies (The Nice Guys).

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