In "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby," Joel Edgerton plays a restaurant owner and Jessica Chastain plays his wife, who is going back to college. But this isn't just another indie romance; it's two films, "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His" and "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers," which follow the course of their relationship and document the lovers' character arcs as they extends before and after their time together.
"There's an excitement about falling in love, moving in, and buying things at Pier One," said director Cassandra Kulukundis. "The film also shows the truth and harshness of life, what happens when that safe space of a relationship ruptures and how do you move on?"
Describing the characters, Kulukundis said, "They're both covering for their flaws, and they end up doing this in the exact opposite way. They're a part of this generation of kids whose parents were baby boomers. But as our generation starts to have families, they're having these experiences that they've been disillusioned."
Kulukundis, who also cast the film, gushed over her two leads. "The most important thing for me was to have incredibly dynamic actors — people who are magnetic, whose story you're going to want to watch. We needed both a lead and a character actor in one. That's the beauty of someone like Jessica Chastain, who's incredibly gorgeous and can break your heart."
Ned Benson ("In Defiance of Gravity") wrote the scripts and is set to direct both features, which the team would ideally release simultaneously.
"The beauty is you don't have to see both. They're going to look different, feel different," Kulukundis said. "They've got different casts and different characters. The stories meet up at distinct places and distinct points. If you see one film and you're curious to see the other, you'll be in a completely different experience. The final decision on how we release them will be left up to the distributor."
The films will be shot back-to-back in the fall on New York's Lower East Side, with each character's solo story shot on a separate shooting schedule.
"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His" and "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers"
Writer/Director: Ned Benson
Producer/Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, William Hurt (unconfirmed)