Martin McDonagh is one of the most exciting voices to have emerged in film in the last decade or so. A veteran playwright behind the likes of “The Pillowman” and “The Cripple Of Inishmaan,” McDonagh won an Oscar for his short film “Six Shooter,” and followed up with the beloved, soulful crime comedy “In Bruges.” It’s been three years since McDonagh’s second feature “Seven Psychopaths,” but it looks like the writer-director is heading back to the screen in the near future.
In an interview with The Guardian to promote his new play “Hangman,” which stars David Morrissey and is about to open in London, McDonagh says that “Fargo” Oscar-winner Frances McDormand is set to star in his next film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” “It’s about a 50-year-old woman,” McDonagh says, “whose daughter is murdered, and she goes to war with the police in her home town because she thinks they are more interested in torturing black people than getting justice.”
McDonagh says that though the subject matter has become topical recently, the film’s actually been in the works for a while (he mentioned it when we interviewed him during press rounds for “Seven Psychopaths,” a film we still like, even if the helmer now describes it as “maybe a bit too meta”). As far as the gap between his movies, McDonagh indicates that he hasn’t always had the easiest time with the film industry.
“I had to become a director to protect the scripts,” McDonagh says. “‘Seven Psychopaths’ wasn’t so bad, but ‘In Bruges’ was relentless and exhausting. I had to deal with [Focus Features] trying to change anything they could change. And Focus are supposed to be supportive, indie-filmmaker-friendly people. Scumbags. It was constant war, but they never won.”
There’s no word on where ‘Three Billboards’ is set up (one can probably assume not at Focus…), but the news that McDormand is signed on is exciting —she’s one of our best actresses and a great fit with McDonagh. Filming’s reportedly set to begin early next year, so hopefully we’ll be seeing it on screens late next year or early in 2017.