It’s a “Midnight Special” reunion! As announced today, Adam Driver and director Jeff Nichols will reunite for the upcoming adaptation of “Yankee Comandante.” According to Variety, the drama is a true-to-life Cuban Revolution story based on the 2012 story in The New Yorker of the same name by David Grann. Nichols is both writing and directing the film, which is his first feature since another true story, “Loving” from 2016, which earned Ruth Negga an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Driver previously starred for Nichols alongside Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Sam Shepard in “Midnight Special,” which, like “Loving,” also released in 2016. “Yankee Comandante” will star Driver as a U.S. citizen from Ohio who fought in the Cuban Revolution. Like Che Guevara, William Alexander Morgan rose to power, helping to drive the Cuban army through enemy lines against then-Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and helping to secure Fidel Castro’s victory. Morgan left his family in 1957 to join anti-Batista forces. The David Grann story is billed as a tale of “love, revolution, and betrayal.”
According to Variety, Nichols’ adaptation of “Yankee Comandante” is expected to begin filming in 2021, even though production start dates everywhere remain uncertain. The film has not been assigned to a studio yet.
Just as COVID-19 led to shutdowns in production — and everywhere else, across the board — Driver was filming Ridley Scott’s period drama “The Last Duel,” set in Medieval France, along with fellow cast members Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Jodie Comer. “The Last Duel” is written by Affleck, Damon, and Nicole Holofcener, and centered on best friends turned rivals Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), who are ordered to battle to the death after Carrouges accuses Le Gris of raping his wife. “The Last Duel” is set for a December 25 release from 20th Century Studios, but it’s unclear whether the film can finish in time at this stage.
Also coming up for Adam Driver is “Annette,” a rock opera from “Holy Motors” director Leos Carax. The film was slated to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, according to Ron Mael, one of the frontmen of the band Sparks whose songs populate the film. “I think maybe the film will be shown at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals if those are still on in the fall. It’s really special,” he said in a recent interview. Driver does all his own singing.