A slowly creeping phenomenon of 2011 has been the indie drama “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Ever since its debut at Sundance in January, the psychological thriller, which has placed star Elizabeth Olsen as one of the hottest actresses around, has picked up some of the most glowing reviews of the year (read ours from Sundance here), and played virtually every major festival, currently unspooling at Toronto after cropping up at Cannes in the Spring. Joe Public will get their chance to see it when it’s released next month, but the company behind Sean Durkin‘s film are moving onto pastures new, with two projects in the can, and one more gearing up that’s attracting the attention of two veteran actors.
Screen Daily report that Maybach Cunningham, who backed ‘Martha Marcy,’ have two films aiming for a Sundance bow; “Prince of Broadway” director Sean Baker‘s “Starlet,” which top-lines Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel, and “Mother of George,” starring Jim Jarmusch veteran Isaach De Bankole, and directed by Andrew Dosunmu, about an African immigrant in New York. But their next film to go into production, which will be directed by the company’s co-founder Chris Maybach, a former editor, is aiming for some bigger name talent.
Maybach says that offers have gone out to Nick Nolte, currently getting Oscar buzz for his role in “Warrior,” and musician/actor Tom Waits, for the project, which comes from a script from Richard Kessler. The pair would play two men at risk of losing their farm, who encounter a young drifter. The company’s site lists the full synopsis as below:
A young drifter passes through the small town where he was born – a place he’d never cared to see again. Determined to make a swift exit, he meets a young woman who persuades him to first resolve an unfinished episode from his past. Soon he finds himself enmeshed in a deepening local conflict, at odds with his own family and spiraling into a web of deceit, murder… and wine.
Filming will start at the end of this year or the beginning of the next in Northern California, so we imagine the fall festival season is a possibility for the film’s bow, should all go well. The tight $1 million budget might mean that Nolte and Waits are more of a reach that Maybach hopes, so we wouldn’t be surprised if they end up falling out somewhere along the line. But if they do sign on, it’s more or less guaranteed to be the grizzliest film of all time. In the meantime, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” finally begins to reach general audiences on October 21st.