“Cold War” director Pawel Pawlikowski is set to follow his Best Director Oscar nomination with an even bigger project. The filmmaker has begun to assemble an A-list cast for “The Island,” a new original thriller for FilmNation Entertainment. Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have joined the cast of the film, which is written and directed by Pawlikowski but inspired by true events. The news was first reported by Deadline.
According to the official synopsis, the film “follows an attractive American couple in the 1930s who turn their back on civilization to build their own private paradise on a deserted island and live off the land. But after a millionaire passing by on his yacht inadvertently turns them into a tabloid newspaper sensation, a self-styled Countess arrives out of the blue with her two strange lovers with plans to take over the island and build a luxury hotel. This larger-than-life European ‘countess’ and her entourage soon begin to threaten the Eden that the couple has built and battle lines are quickly drawn. Psychological warfare ensues as seduction and jealousy descend into sexual infidelity, betrayal, and eventually murder—at exactly the same time, nature itself turns against these island interlopers.”
“Pawel Pawlikowski is one of the world’s greatest filmmakers working today,” said FilmNation CEO Glen Basner. “Pawel bringing this story of jealousy, betrayal, and murder in a Garden of Eden is exactly what we all need to drive audiences back to the cinema.”
Phoenix is currently gearing up to begin work on “Joker: Folie à Deux,” Todd Phillips’ musical sequel to the 2019 movie that won Phoenix an Oscar. That film will see Lady Gaga join the cast as Harley Quinn. Before that hits theaters in 2024, Phoenix will be seen in Ari Aster’s “Disappointment Blvd.” and Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” as Napoleon Bonaparte.
Mara will next be seen in Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking.” The role has earned Mara some early Oscar buzz, though she’ll have to compete with the rest of the film’s acclaimed ensemble cast for a limited number of Best Supporting Actress slots.
“The Island” is scheduled to begin filming in 2023.