Deadline reported yesterday that Angelina Jolie is “finalising a deal to star” in Those Who Wish Me Dead, Taylor Sheridan’s next film. He also wrote the screenplay adapted from Michael Koryta’s novel. This is newsworthy not just because it’s Angelina but the combination of her fame and this particular director. I don’t know that we can call Taylor Sheridan an “auteur” just yet but he has, over the last few years, within the industry, become one of the most exciting talents in the business whose work attracts other talent. He wrote both Sicario films, and Hell or High Water, for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and won the Un Certain Regard directing prize for Wind River in Cannes. He’s also the showrunner of Yellowstone, now in production in its second season. Last year Esquire called him “our generation’s greatest western storyteller”.
Those Who Wish Me Dead, the book, is set against the backdrop of a wildfire in Montana, as a teen in the witness protection program tries to elude the killers who are looking for him. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Sheridan’s script is described as being female-driven (the book’s female lead ran a fire lookout tower before being swept into the teen’s troubled life) and a by-the-seat-of-your-pants chase movie”.
Now you see why this project has so much potential. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a gritty Angelina on the run. And now she’ll be on the run in a story from a director who doesn’t just tell “on the run” stories but instead makes films that are actually character studies hidden in familiar narratives. So we’re getting a sense of where Angelina might be heading – or heading back to – with her career. Apparently they’ll start shooting in May which could time out for a 2020 release, which is also when Maleficent 2 is due in theatres. And if that’s the case, it sets her up for both a blockbuster and a prestige film that sounds made for the festival circuit next year. I’m excited.
As for Taylor, he’s married to actress and model Nicole Muirbrook. She posted about the casting news on Instagram. But this was the post that caught my eye from a few days ago:
“Don’t you worry, baby. I’ll get us out of this. I’ll write us out of it.”
Remind you of anything?
In the eye of a hurricane
There is quiet
For just a moment
A yellow sky….
Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it
I’ll write my way out!
Cue Duana bursting into tears. I’ve become such a good student.
Attached – Angelina at Vivienne’s martial arts class yesterday.