Geremy Jasper‘s feature debut Patti Cake$ was one of my favorite films of 2017 and it instantly marked him as a director to watch. So I watched as he inexplicably spent all of 2018 on the sidelines. No development deals, no rumors of a follow-up, nada. In fact, earlier this year, nearly every Sundance story out of the trades seemed to go out of its way to cite Patti Cake$ as a cautionary tale — an example of a film selling for a lot of money in Park City, only to flop in theaters. Well, thank God that Hollywood has finally come to its senses, as Lionsgate has tapped Jasper to direct The Night Circus, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Erin Morgenstern.
The Night Circus follows the lush, romantic, extremely visual story of two young illusionists battling out an age-old rivalry amidst an enchanted and magical circus, bound by a fated love, and destined to affect the lives of all around them. I’m picturing a more romantic, fantastical version of The Prestige, if you’ll forgive the comparison to Christopher Nolan‘s acclaimed period piece.
Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford (Up In the Air) will produce for Heyday Films, while former Lionsgate marketing executive Tim Palen will also produce under his Barnyard Projects banner. Richard Pine will serve as an executive producer on the project, which Lionsgate execs Meredith Wieck and Brady Fujikawa will oversee on behalf of the studio.
Annie Baker (I Love Dick) wrote the current draft of the script, while previous drafts were penned by Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre) and Patrick Ness, the writer of A Monster Calls and Lionsgate’s upcoming Doug Liman movie Chaos Walking starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley.
Jasper truly impressed me with Patti Cake$, coaxing incredible performances out of Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett and Siddharth Dhananjay, and introducing me to rising star Mamoudou Athie. He also wrote the music for the film, and that soundtrack is one of the best in recent memory, right up there with A Star Is Born. His involvement alone makes The Night Circus a project worth keeping an eye on, and I intend to do just that.
Jasper is represented by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.