Kristen Stewart just completed her 2022 goal: marking her feature directorial debut.
The long-gestating adaptation of Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir “The Chronology of Water” is co-written by Stewart and Andy Mingo, who has been attached to direct the film since 2018. Imogen Poots will lead the film. Representatives for Poots confirmed the casting to IndieWire.
“Lidia’s memoir honors corporeal experience, radically,” Stewart said in a press statement, as first shared by Deadline. “To make that experience physical feels vital to me and what this impulse means…is that it absolutely must be a film.”
The “Spencer” Oscar nominee continued, “This project has been cooking for five years with the help of Scott Free, whom I could not be more privileged to have as partners and friends. Imogen Poots will carry this movie and the staggering weight of Lidia’s life. She can hold it. I am beyond lucky to have her.”
The official synopsis of the film describes the novel as a “lyrical journey through a life saved by art,” adding that it centers on a young woman who finds her voice through the written word and her salvation as a swimmer – ultimately becoming a triumphant teacher, mother, and a singular modern writer. A survivor’s story, a sexually abrasive and honest coming of age, the film is a physical memory wash of the inner life of author Yuknavitch.
Ridley Scott’s Scott Free productions are producing the feature alongside co-writer Mingo. Michael Pruss also produces, with Rebecca Feuer serving as an executive producer.
Director Stewart previously collaborated with Scott Free for her 2017 short film directorial debut “Come Swim,” which she also wrote. Stewart additionally starred in Scott Free films “Welcome to the Rileys” and “Equals.”
“Ridley and I are delighted to be working with Kristen again, this time on her feature directorial debut, adapted from Lidia Yuknavitch’s extraordinary memoir,” executive producer Pruss said. “Just as we have seen in Kristen’s short films as a director, I have no doubt that she will bring that same level of style, uniqueness and fearless emotionality to ‘The Chronology of Water.’ Furthermore, to have the the opportunity to work with Imogen – who is tailor-made for the lead role – is incredibly exciting. The combination of their talents will no doubt produce something exquisite for film audiences worldwide.”
Stewart told IndieWire earlier this year that if “The Chronology of Water” didn’t come together with financing this year, she would take drastic measures.
“If I don’t make this movie before the end of the year, I’ll die,” Stewart said.
Stewart has been linked to “Chronology of Water” since 2018, confirming at the Cannes Film Festival four years ago to the date that novelist Yuknavitch’s prose was deeply personal to her: “She’s in my blood,” Stewart said at the time, “and I knew that before I met her. As soon as I met her it was like we started this race without any sense of competition…My only goal is just to finish the screenplay and hire a really spectacular actor: I’m going to write the best fucking female role. I’m going to write a role that I want so badly but that I’m not going to play.”
Stewart previously noted to Variety that pre-production is “in process” as of March 2022. The lead role was also recently cast earlier this year, which was “monumentally relieving” to Stewart, who did not name “The Father” star Poots at the time.
“I’ve been alone with this, in this vacuum, and it’s so nice to give something to someone, a friend and a partner, and say, ‘Help me,’” Stewart said of Poots. “She’s the one who’s going to have to do it, and it’s really hard, so I’m over the moon.”