Of the innumerable young American directors whose early work has suggested an affinity for genuine human experience beyond the familiar New Hollywood schema, Destin Cretton lands closer than you might imagine to the top of the list. Though Cretton’s first feature, I Am Not a Hipster, came off as a bit aimless and earnestly modern, Short Term 12 was a rare breath of fresh air that at once gave tremendous attention to a societal issue that’s often ignored and told an involving, complicated dramatic story.
Now, we’re on the verge of the release of Cretton’s follow-up to Short Term 12, a long-gestating adaptation of Jeanette Wells‘ beloved The Glass Castle, which will see him once again collaborating with Brie Larson, who starred in Short Term 12. The film has no release date thus far, but the film has been in post-production for a few months and a release before summer 2017 is looking likely at this point, unless Lionsgate decides to push it for heavier awards consideration. For now, at least, we can enjoy the first two looks at the movie via a pair of images from EW that show off Larson as the grown-up Walls and Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson as Walls’ parents. You can take a look at the images right below, and though there’s nothing quite revealing about these images, it’s enough to get a fan excited about the rarely satisfying dysfunctional family melodrama once again.
Here are the first two images from Cretton’s The Glass Castle:
Here’s how Amazon summarizes Walls’ book:
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.