Many a sci-fi fan or indie film lover will know the work of writer/director/composer/actor Shane Carruth, whose low-budget time-travel drama Primer burst onto the scene in 2004 and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The complex storytelling and gritty realism of the film made Carruth one of the hottest new voices in indie film. Years later, he made the quiet, complicated Upstream Color.

Now Carruth has emerged again with a concept trailer for his unmade epic, A Topiary.

A TopiaryCredit: Shane Carruth

According to coverage from Birth.Movies.Death., Carruth wrote A Topiary after Primer, but the idea was so big and involved so many visual effects that it was too expensive to produce. The director has been open about his frustrations with Hollywood politics and the business of how projects get made, both issues that have prevented him from directing again.

But quite suddenly this week, Carruth made a nine-year-old concept trailer public on Vimeo. The trailer hints at what A Topiary could be. It splices together footage from several sci-fi classics and coming-of-age stories like E.T., The Black Stallion, Close Encounters, and Jurassic Park, but it also includes some rough visuals on organic-looking robot creatures. A child's voiceover hints at a story of young boys finding and claiming some kind of technology.

A TopiaryCredit: Shane Carruth

About a week ago, Carruth spoke with IndieWire while promoting The Wanting Mare, which he executive produced. He hints that he's ready to retire after one more film.

"I've got one last project in front of me," Carruth told IndieWire. "I shouldn’t say anything about it. I'm still defining the edges. But that is it for me. I'm not going to say I'm doing a project and then hope Paramount gives me a deal or whatever the hell. I'm not doing that anymore."

It's truly unfortunate that someone with such original ideas and unique execution has seen their creativity effectively snuffed out, but perhaps today's environment of streamers and over-the-top services could help Carruth find a home for his latest work.

Check out the trailer below.

Source: Birth. Movies. Death.