The are few works that have been more revered and adapted than “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov. The Russian master’s play, written over 100 years ago, still forms the basis for countless new stage iterations — both professional and amateur — inspired a ballet and an opera, but oddly enough, has never had a splashy big-screen version. Until now.
An ensemble cast including Katie Holmes, William Hurt, Allison Janney, Russell Means, Jean Reno, Mark Rylance and Juliet Rylance have come together for Christian Camargo‘s directorial debut. The actor-turned-helmer was featured in “The Hurt Locker” and Twihards know him best as Eleazar from ‘Breaking Dawn,’ but he’s making a pretty bold career move here. He adapted the play, updating it to contemporary times, and has set the story in rural New England where desire and conflict mix and match over a Memorial Day weekend. Not all the roles are parceled out yet, but the always excellent Janney will portray a fading movie star, with Hurt as her brother. Meanwhile, Holmes will play the daughter of the estate’s caretaker.
As far as talent goes, you can’t get much better than this, and certainly the source material is impeccable. The trick wil be if Carmago can translate that drama to a modern setting without it turning into any one of your average one-weekend-indie-drama movies that seem to proliferate film festivals each year and disappear with little impact. And mostly, it’ll be nice to see Holmes working on something potentially decent, particularly since her last few gigs (“Jack And Jill,” “The Son Of No One,” “Who’s Afraid Of The Dark“) didn’t quite impress. Should everything come together, this will shoot this summer in upstate New York. [Variety]