Post-Harry Potter, none of the main actors have done better than Emma Watson, who went from playing wizard Hermione Granger to portraying (in short order) a kind-hearted wardrobe assistant, a radiant girl next door, a vapid socialite, herself and the adopted daughter of Noah. All of those performances were sublime and proved that Watson has more up her sleeve than just magic spells. However, her greatest challenge as an actor appears to be yet to come, now that we’ve gotten our first look at her abused lead character in Alejandro Amenábar’s thriller Regression.
Starring alongside Ethan Hawke, Watson plays a young girl named Angela who accuses her father of commiting a terrible crime. When investigator Bruce Kenner (Hawke) peers closer, he uncovers a terrifying mystery that stretches far beyond just one family. The first image from the film, above, finds a devastated Angela being comforted by Kenner. It’s clear that she’s been through the wringer, though we probably won’t know exactly what happened to her until the film opens.
Still, no matter how mysterious the plot is, with Amenábar behind the camera, and Watson and Hawke leading a stellar cast, Regression is definitely a project we’ll be keeping our eye on. It’s true that Amenábar isn’t exactly a household name, but he’s helmed some absolutely amazing films, from the Nicole Kidman ghost story The Others (one of the best horror movies in recent years) to Oscar-winning The Sea Inside (which helped to put Javier Bardem on the map).
In addition to Watson and Hawke, Amenábar is working with David Thewlis (The Fifth Estate), David Dencik (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) Dale Dickey (Winter’s Bone), Lothaire Bluteau (TV’s The Tudors) and Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) on the film, which he also penned the script for.
You can check out an early plot synopsis below, but it will likely be some time until we see Regression hit theaters. The Weinstien Company would be foolish not to position Watson for awards attention, but this fall appears to be approaching too quickly for the studio to try to shoehorn Regression in, so I’d imagine we’ll see it in the fall of 2015.
Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.