Director Drake Doremus returns to a familiar milieu — the romantic drama — for his newest feature, “Endings, Beginnings,” which stars Shailene Woodley as a woman attempting to get her life on track, who gets caught in a love triangle with a bad boy (Sebastian Stan) and his more erudite best friend (Jamie Dornan).
Co-scripted with novelist Jardine Libaire, the semi-improvised film is produced by CJ Entertainment, the Korean entertainment powerhouse behind Bong Joon Ho’s multiple Oscar-winning “Parasite.”
Acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films after its 2019 Toronto premiere, it will be released it on May 1, 2020. The distributor has released a first official trailer for the film.
The official synopsis for “Endings, Beginnings” reads: “In present day Los Angeles, Daphne (Woodley), a thirty-something woman, navigates love and heartbreak over the course of one year. Daphne becomes intertwined with friends Jack (Dornan) and Frank (Stan) after meeting them at a party. During that time, she will unlock the secrets to her life in a sudden turn of events and in the most surprising of places.”
The film co-stars Matthew Gray Gubler, Lindsay Sloane, Ben Esler, Shamier Anderson, and Kyra Sedgwick.
At its Toronto premiere, the festival praised Doremus’ stylistic flourishes, describing the film as “a smart, very contemporary character study of a woman exploring who she is, what she could be, and how her choices impact those around her.”
Critics mostly disagreed however, giving the film a 30% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
IndieWire critic Kate Erbland’s C+ rating called it “a different kind of love story than [Doremus] attempted to make before,” one that doesn’t settle for “twisting even the most initially charming of his onscreen romances into something hideous and terrifying,” as his previous films have routinely done.
The project marks Doremus’ second collaboration with CJ Entertainment. He’s also attached to direct the studio’s internally developed project “Aurora,” said to be yet another romantic drama, although with a supernatural twist, which Salvador Paskowitz (“The Age of Adaline”) is scripting.
Doremus also has a two-year deal with Paramount TV to develop new projects and direct existing projects.
His most recent film, the sci-fi romance “Zoe” (2018) starring Ewan McGregor, Léa Seydoux, Rashida Jones and Christina Aguilera, debuted at Tribeca, and was acquired for distribution by Amazon Prime.
Watch the trailer for his latest, “Endings, Beginnings.”