ABU DHABI — Helmer Nicholas Jarecki will follow up Wall Street thriller “Arbitrage” with “Fuel,” a detective story set in Los Angeles amid a futuristic world of electric vehicles and alternative energy.
The high-tech noir will be “about a young man in surveillance; in over his head in a much bigger world than him,” Jarecki said in an interview at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, where “Arbitrage” was the opener.
At the moment, Jarecki said he is doing research for the film and scouting for locations.
“I am very enamored by the Tesla,” he said, referring to the California electric auto manufacturer, currently at the forefront in this field.
Jarecki was also impressed by the recent launch of the Dragon capsule spacecraft by SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, Tesla’s co-founder and “an old friend.”
Helmer is nearing completion on the screenplay and aims to start filming in April or May on a budget in the “low $20 million” range.
“Fuel” will be produced by “Arbitrage’s” Kevin Turen. Saudi producer Mohammed Al Turki, who also shepherded “Arbitrage,” is likely to come on board.
“Arbitrage” lenser Yorick Le Saux is in place.
Jarecki said that while “Arbitrage” was financed independently, this time around “we could be interested in getting a U.S. studio partner to come in.”
Meanwhile, he’s been meeting with potential financiers in Abu Dhabi “since the film is about energy, and because we had such a great success working with Mohammed (Al Turki).”
Casting is being decided, including “a great part for a young girl,” because there is a “romance component.”
Jarecki noted that the detective story genre is open for re-invention, citing Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation,” and Christopher Nolan’s neo-noir “Memento” as sources of inspiration for “Fuel.”