Great performances from Nicole Kidman are generally years apart nowadays, partly because she's not as prolific as she use to be. But with Park Chan-wook's "Stoker" and Lee Daniel's "The Paperboy" both due out later in the year, 2012 is certainly shaping up to be a big one for the actress. Kidman has now seemingly added another project to her calendar, as she is in talks to star in Rowan Joffe's sophomore directorial effort, an adaptation of S.J. Watson's critically acclaimed novel "Before I Go To Sleep."
Joffe has evidently been attached to the project since late 2010 and has presumably been adapting the novel for himself to direct, as was the case with Graham Greene's "Brighton Rock," his debut behind the camera. While that film failed to light screens on fire, Joffe was the man responsible for adapting Martin Booth's "A Very Private Gentleman" into "The American" for Anton Corbijn, and also scripted "28 Weeks Later" for Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and Danny Boyle.
Variety notes that the story is "a psychological thriller about a young woman who, after a night of partying, wakes up to discover that she has aged beyond recognition" but the following Amazon synopsis goes into further detail about the novel (which takes form partly as a journal of the protagonist) and explains how that all transpires:
Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he's obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis–all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac.
With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? And, for the reader: Can Christine’s story be trusted?
While the "Memento"-esque synopsis here sounds like it'll veer into genre territory, reviews of the novel are very positive and saw it earn places on multiple bestsellers lists — apparently it's the best selling novel in the U.S. by a debut British writer since J.K. Rowling — so we're remaining hopeful. Either way, with acclaimed source material and Kidman in tow, we're keen to see what Joffe has to offer here.
No word yet on when production could get underway, but the project is being backed by Ridley Scott's Scott Free shingle in conjunction with StudioCanal and BBC Films. [Screen Daily]