Ever since his walk-on, one-line bit-part in a second season episode of Arrested Development, Armie Hammer has been seeking his niche. Momentum has built in fits and starts, with notable turns in The Social Network and J. Edgar particularly providing an opportunity to flex dramatic muscle. However, it is only now – with The Man From U.N.C.L.E in cinemas – that Hammer has truly come into his own, delivering a performance as a Russian agent that is utterly flawless. It is therefore unsurprising that high profile jobs are now flowing his way, and the latest is confirmed as a supporting role in Nocturnal Animals.
Written and directed by Tom Ford (A Single Man), the film will be an adaptation of the 1993 novel Tony And Susan, by Austin Wright. Nocturnal Animals is the name of the book-within-the-book, which drives the action of the story – as part-time English teacher and mother-of-three Susan Morrow unexpectedly receives a book manuscript from her first husband, Edward Sheffield. Receipt of the draft is, in itself, unsettling, since their marriage ended over the combination of his ambition to write, and her lack of enthusiasm for the quality of his work. However, she acquiesces and sinks into the tale, which reveals itself to be a strangely compelling and dark thriller that shakes her to her core.
The role for which Armie Hammer is confirmed is that of Walker Morrow – a doctor, and Susan Morrow’s current husband. Susan Morrow will be played by Academy Award nominee Amy Adams, while Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal will play Tony – the lead character in the story-within-the-story. The wider cast includes Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (Man Of Steel), Aaron Taylor Johnson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron), and Academy Award winner Kim Basinger (The 11th Hour). With production on Nocturnal Animals due to begin in the fall, it is possible this adaptation will be a feature of the 2016-2017 award season and festival circuit.