Woody Harrelson is about to relive a nightmare.
The actor is recreating a dramatic night he experienced in London 15 years ago involving a nightclub, a chase in two of the city’s iconic black taxi cabs and a police cell.
In his directorial debut, “Lost in London”, Harrelson has written a dark comedy inspired by the events.
“Plot-wise it’s just based on an incident that happened in my life, which was one of the unhappy nights of my life, it was terrible,” Harrelson told CNN. “There was some issues with me and my wife and some issues with the justice system in this little town here.”
He plans to shoot the film with a single camera, in a single take, while moving through locations more than a mile apart — all streamed live to more than 500 theaters in the United States in partnership with Fathom Events.
“It just kept developing out of this desire I’ve always had because I really love theater and I really love film and I always wanted to marry the two,” he said.
It’s a risky endeavor with lots of moving pieces.
“We’ve got 30 actors, we got 14 locations, we’ve got four cars, so we’re getting in and out of vehicles it’s monumental,” Harrelson said. “This undertaking is monumental.”
The broadcast control truck resembles a mini version of a NASA space center.
“We’ve got 24 sound people on this,” the “True Detective” star said. “And each of these people if you ask them — and these guys do the Olympics, huge movies — this is the most complicated thing they’ve ever done.”
Actor Owen Wilson and country music veteran Willie Nelson are helping Harrelson out on the project.
“I can tell you that I run into Owen in this club and I’m in a state of crisis, so he tries to help me and Willie,” Harrelson said. “I don’t know how to say it without giving away something, but you might say he’s one of the angels in this piece.”
Harrelson said he now realizes why such a project has never been done before.
“It’s the most dangerous idea I’ve ever had, only because I followed through on it,” he said. “I’ve had other dangerous ideas but I didn’t follow through on them.”
The movie begins live filming in London on Friday around 2 a.m. (the same time of night the police were called to the original incident in 2002), which means a Thursday evening slot for cinema audiences in the U.S. keen to catch the production unfold.
Harrelson hopes the movie will be screened at the Berlin Film Festival in February.