Director John McNaughton’s last feature-length film Wild Things included the fantastic cinematic achievement of having Neve Campbell and Denise Richards make out on screen. Now he’s back after more than a decade to helm the psychological thriller, The Harvest. Written by Stephen Lancellotti, The Harvest centers on a married couple (Michael Shannon and Samantha Morton) with a background in the medical profession who keep their clinically ill son (Charlie Tahan) secluded in a controlled environment. When a young girl (Natasha Calis) moves in next door, her arrival gives the boy hope for a better life, but unravels the overprotective parents’ strictly regulated world. Hit the jump for more, including word from the director himself on why he chose this project.
McNaughton will direct The Harvest, which recently added Shannon and Morton to the cast. Though production is currently underway in New York, McNaughton has been at work on The Harvest for a number of years. He commented on the project as follows:
“This is the first horror script I’ve been interested in in 25 years, so it’s kind of cool to return to the genre…I got the script a few years ago and loved the story, which is dark and has a great twist. It’s like a cross between ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”
So while the logline appears like nothing more than a case of overprotective parents faced with their ill son’s coming of age, the title and McNaughton’s quote suggest something much more nefarious lurks under the surface.
McNaughton had been developing The Harvest for three years before Shannon and Morton came on board recently and in short order. Shannon has Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, David Wain’s They Came Together and Ariel Vromen’s hitman drama The Iceman all coming up within the year. Morton can next be seen in Spike Jonze’s Her. Read the full press release below.
New York, NY – December 12, 2012 — Elephant Eye Films announced today that Academy Award Nominees Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon will star in “The Harvest,” a psychological thriller that questions the lengths parents will go to, to save their only child. Charlie Tahan (“Charlie St. Cloud”), Natasha Calis (“The Possession”), Leslie Lyles (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) and Meadow Williams (“Sebastian”) will co-star. Written by Stephen Lancellotti, the film marks a return to the big screen for John McNaughton (“Wild Things,” “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.”), and will be produced by Kim Jose, David Robinson, Steven A. Jones, and Meadow Williams. Living Out Loud Productions will finance the film. Elephant Eye Films will handle international sales. Billy Hopkins cast the film and Rachel Morrison (“The Sound Of My Voice”) is the Director of Photography. The film is shooting in Palisades and Brooklyn, New York through January 2013.
Director John McNaughton commented, “THE HARVEST is one of the best scripts I have read since HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER.”
“Having a genre master like John McNaughton directing two of the most gifted and bold actors of our time (Samantha and Michael) could not be more of a perfect combination for our film. After 5 years of trying to get this project off the ground, we feel very fortunate to have this creative team in place” added Producer Kim Jose of Elephant Eye Films.
Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon portray Katherine and Richard Young, a successful heart surgeon and over-protective mother, and her co-dependent husband who has retired from his career as a nurse to care for their sick son Andy (Charlie Tahan). Andy’s healthcare is handled in-house, and all of his medical issues taken care of by his mother and father with the help of a pharmaceutical representative, Sandra (Meadow Williams), who supplies them with whatever they need, no questions asked. Home schooled, Andy lives in a controlled, secluded world, until an innocent 13-year-old neighbor, Maryann (Natasha Calis) moves in with her grandmother (Leslie Lyles) and gives Andy hopes of a better life. As the teens grow closer, the tight knit world Katherine has created begins to unravel.
Academy Award nominated actress Samantha Morton (“In America,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “Minority Report.”) will next be seen in Spike Jonze’ “Her.” Morton is represented by Conway van Gelder Grant and Principato Young Entertainment.
Academy Award nominated actor Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road”) can currently be seen in “Grace” on Broadway and “Boardwalk Empire.” Upcoming films include the highly anticipated “Man of Steel” in which Shannon portrays General Zod, the David Wain film “They Came Together,” and “The Iceman” with James Franco and Chris Evans. Shannon is represented by CAA and Wetzel Entertainment.
Charlie Tahan will next be seen in the Guillaume Canet film “Blood Ties” with Mila Kunis and Marion Cotillard and the upcoming Woody Allen project with Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin. Previous films include “Charlie St. Cloud” and “I Am Legend.” Tahan is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.
Natasha Calis was most recently seen in the thriller “The Possession.” Calis is represented by CAA and Impression Entertainment.
Elephant Eye Films is a full-service New York based film studio that produces, sells and theatrically distributes high quality feature films. Founded in 2008 by partners Kim Jose and David Robinson, Elephant Eye is a filmmaker driven company with an eye for great projects with major crossover potential.
During its short lifespan, Elephant Eye has assembled a prestigious slate of projects from some of the world’s most distinctive filmmakers including Lee Daniels, John McNaughton, Spike Lee and Sebastian Silva. Elephant Eye’s slate includes two of the biggest breakout hits of the past few years: the Academy Award winning box office sensation PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE and Golden Globe nominated art house hit THE MAID.