Jake Gyllenhaal has been traveling the “serious actor” path for a while now, starring in cult favorites like Donnie Darko and giving riveting performances in movies like Brokeback Mountain and Jarhead. That’s not to say he hasn’t tried to get into the superhero game. He has. Gyllenhaal was almost Spiderman and almost Batman. But it’s been in dramatic roles not based on comic books where he’s won his admirers. Yet his highly regarded career has so far unaccountably been more of an MTV Movie Awards winner, with only a single Academy nomination. Next up, though, he’s blatantly mining for Oscar gold.
Get ready for Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, writer/director Dan Gilroy’s new thriller (October 2014). There’s a little taste of the madness now available online (see below). That’s Louis Bloom, Gyllenhaal’s character, looking for a job–or trying hard not to get one. (We’ll have to wait and see.) The acting is turned up all the way to 11, which is the Academy Awards minimum. Kristopher Tapley at HitFix says Nightcrawler just might be Gyllenhaal’s Taxi Driver. Tapley also reports that Gyllenhaal got so intense on the set that he “punched a mirror during one emotionally charged scene.” So add echoes of Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now. (See the documentary Hearts of Darkness – A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse by Francis Ford Coppola.) In Nightcrawler Gyllenhaal will also be looking to outquirk his sister Maggie in her indelible role in Secretary.