Is “Beasts of the Southern Wild” director Benh Zeitlin getting all ‘Benjamin Button‘ on us for his next movie? The helmer made a huge impression this year with his thoroughly moving, inventive, absorbing and wildly imaginative debut feature that picked up four awards at Cannes and two at Sundance. And he’s sticking to what he knows best for his next movie.
Set to receive the New Orleans Film Society‘s Celluloid Hero award, Zeitlin spoke to the Associated Press and revealed that his next effort will be “a Louisiana-made fable about a hidden ecosystem where the aging process is ‘out of whack’ and people can age quickly or very slowly.” Even more, the writer/director plans to use the same team behind the camera and wants to be reunited with his cast, which we presume means breakout stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry (who both were sought for roles, and signed on to Steve McQueen‘s “Twelve Years a Slave“).
How this project develops and what it ultimately turns out to be is perhaps the most exciting prospect, and Zeitlin’s plan to work with the same crew perhaps suggests he’s eager to keep the the somewhat freewheeling, anything can happen aspect that surrounded ‘Beasts.’ “Preproduction is like this little animal that you’re raising, and it’s like a tiger, and you raise it until it’s way bigger and stronger and faster than you, and you can’t control it at all. You just set it loose and then you have to chase it. And so for everybody that worked on ‘Beasts,’ it was like an athletic event. A safari hunt. With this running beast that you’re trying not to be destroyed by…it’s always fun,” Zeitlin told us over the summer adding, “the movies are secondary. The tiger chase comes first.”
No word yet on when this movie might roll, but Zeitlin will undoubtedly still be busy through the rest of the year as Fox Searchlight tries to harness the praise for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” into some awards. But we’re just glad Zeitlin is already dreaming up his next story he wants to tell.