The flurry of casting, distribution, and direction news has begun with Cannes 2016 already off to the races, beginning with the recent openings screening of Woody Allen‘s latest film, Cafe Society. The day started off with excellent, exciting news that Sony Pictures Classics will indeed be taking stateside distribution rights to Paul Verhoeven‘s impossibly promising Elle, featuring Isabelle Huppert in the titular role. That, however, has begun the avalanche of fantastic news for auteur-friendly cinephiles, including this promising bit of casting involving the regularly evocative Colin Farrell.
As Deadline reports, Farrell is now set to reunite with Yorgos Lanthimos, the notorious Greek filmmaker behind A24’s recent The Lobster, which details a dystopian society where being single can lead to you quite literally being turned into a pig. It’s the first English-language film from Lanthimos, and he’s already set to begin filming his second English-language picture this August with Farrell and distributor A24 already attached. The film is called The Killing of a Sacred Deer, keeping with what seems to be an animal motif in the names of Lanthimos’ short yet striking ouevre. Little is known about what the new film will center on but the script is yet another collaborative effort between Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou.
Filippou and Lanthimos first teamed on Dogtooth, perhaps one of the most infamous foreign films to see stateside release this decade, detailing the bizarre and frightening life of a family that has been ruled over and forbade from leaving their estate by a fearful, abusive father. The tone of that film was something not unlike Luis Buñuel in the post-Haneke age, and the film got quite a lot of attention for its more sadistic passages and Lanthimos’s dry, artful framings. They went onto work on ALPS, which is nearly as good as Dogtooth, and The Lobster, which is fascinating but deeply flawed in its scripting. If nothing else, one can hope that The Killing of a Sacred Deer will see Farrell, Lanthimos, and Filippou digging out similar rough emotional concepts as they do in The Lobster, but with more narrative cohesion and challenging thematic palette.