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Todd Haynes’ ‘Wonderstruck’ First Look at CinemaCon: Mystery, VFX, and Subject To Interpretation

The Amazon Studios film is based on the 2011 best-selling novel of the same name by Brian Selznick, who also wrote the children's book that became Martin Scorsese's "Hugo."

Todd HaynesHammer Museum Gala in the Garden, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Oct 2016

Todd Haynes


Todd Haynes’ highly anticipated new film, “Wonderstruck,” looks unlike anything the director has done before. Attendees at CinemaCon were treated to a short promo reel from the unfinished film at a luncheon hosted by Amazon Thursday afternoon.

Based on the bestselling 2011 young adult novel by Brian Selznick (“The Invention of Hugo Cabret”), “Wonderstruck” follows the interconnected stories of two deaf children across the span of 50 years. Ben (Oakes Fegley) lives with his family in Minnesota in 1977 and escapes to New York, trying to find his father. Rose (13-year-old deaf actor Millicent Simmonds), a young girl locked in a house in 1927 New Jersey, escapes to New York to see her favorite film actress.

“With his latest film, an Amazon Studios production, Todd has created his most ambitious film ever,” Amazon’s head of distribution and marketing Bob Berney said at the lunch.

The footage is mysterious and doesn’t reveal much, but the clip suggested a drama with a magical twist. The live-action footage is interspersed with dream-like shots of what appears to be a dollhouse, with illustrated faces of various characters atop small figurines. It’s unclear if the sequences use CGI, stop-motion, or both.

“I need you to be patient with this story,” Ben says in the clip. “The story I want to tell you begins a long time ago. This is not just a story of New York City. It’s also the story of my father’s life.”

The film co-stars Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore. “Wonderstruck” is due out later this year.

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