English filmmaker Adrian Lyne is in talks to return to directing for his first film since 2002’s Academy Award-nominated “Unfaithful.” According to Deadline, the master of the psychosexual nail-biter is looking at a November production start date for “Deep Water,” set to star Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas (“Yesterday,” “Blade Runner 2049”).
Oscar-nominated for Best Director for 1987’s erotic shocker “Fatal Attraction,” Lyne will be back in his wheelhouse for “Deep Water,” a sexy thriller adapted by Zach Helm (“Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”) and Sam Levinson (HBO’s “Euphoria”) from a novel by psychological suspense connoisseur Patricia Highsmith.
The story centers on married couple Vic and Melinda, whose open marriage is tested by an unsolved murder that resurfaces from Melinda’s past. In Highsmith tradition, the novel concerns itself more deeply with plunging beneath the illusory veneer of picture-perfect, midcentury American life. Her works have been adapted into films classic and contemporary, from Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train” to “Carol,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “The Two Faces of January.”
In the role, Ben Affleck will return to the psychosexual thriller territory of “Gone Girl,” where director David Fincher exploited the movie star’s breezy charm and corn-fed good looks to deconstruct the idea of American masculinity (and the screen image of Affleck himself). Cuban actress Ana de Armas, opposite him, is busily amassing an impressive filmography. She will soon appear as Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde,” director Andrew Dominik’s Joyce Carol Oates adaptation for Netflix.
Actors have long been willing to debase themselves for Lyne’s twisted visions of the dark side of carnality, from iconic Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction,” and Kim Basinger as a self-abnegating nymphomaniac in “9 1/2 Weeks,” to Diane Lane as a bored housewife in free-fall over a book dealer with bedroom eyes and an accent in “Unfaithful.” Close and Lane both received Oscar nominations for their performances.
Lyne initially set up “Deep Water” at Fox 2000 in 2013, with New Regency taking over as full financiers last year. His additional films as director include “Lolita” and “Indecent Proposal.” Lyne’s less erotic credits include “Flashdance” and “Jacob’s Ladder,” which just received an all-black remake set for release on August 23.