IndieWire Exclusive: Why ‘THE TRAP’ Never Happened with Director Harmony Korine

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It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. After “Spring Breakers” rejuvenated Korine’s auteur status, grossing more than three times its $5 million budget and winning him new fans, he pounced on the opportunity to bring Florida’s underbelly to a larger audience. That was going to be “The Trap,” an action-packed epic about a pair of robbers who part ways when one is arrested and the other becomes a famous hip-hop artist by stealing his incarcerated pal’s style. When the former friend breaks loose, he goes on a revenge-fueled rampage. Korine imagined it as his version of “Oldboy,” and with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures behind it, he rounded up a cast of A-listers headed by Jamie Foxx and Benicio del Toro. Complications with Foxx arose early on; after Idris Elba replaced him, Del Toro landed a role in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” that threw off the shooting schedule. Four weeks before production, the financiers pulled out.

“I didn’t want to be susceptible to something happening again and losing two years,” Korine said. “Just living in that, for so long, was hard on me.” However, he didn’t sulk. “I was doing a lot of just hanging out in the Keys with a lot of ex-smugglers and quasi-burnouts,” Korine said.