Sofia Coppola isn’t a director who steps behind the lens very often – barring festive special A Very Murray Christmas, the last Coppola effort to light up the silver screen was the pulsing, super-stylish biopic The Bling Ring four years ago – but when she does, an air of hushed excitement tends to wash over the industry.
Case in point: The Beguiled, an upcoming remake of the eponymous 1971 period drama starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page – itself an adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s gripping page-turner, A Painted Devil. In her mission to (re)introduce The Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies to a modern audience, Sofia Coppola has recruited a who’s who of Hollywood talent, including Colin Farrell, The Neon Demon‘s Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard and Angourie Rice, who wowed moviegoers with her breakout performance in Shane Black noir The Nice Guys.
Set against the height of America’s Civil War, The Beguiled opens in the state of Virginia circa 1864, when the Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary, a sheltered pocket of young ladies isolated from the outside world, uncover a wounded Union soldier (Farrell) and agreed to nurse him back to full health. What begins as a kind and seemingly innocent gesture quickly devolves into a bloody saga of adultery and lies, as many of the film’s leading ladies fall under the alluring spell of Farrell’s scarred trooper. Those questionable delights have violent ends, though, and The Beguiled really kicks into gear once Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman and Co. begin to turn on their unwanted guest.
“Innocent, until betrayed.” The Beguiled is expected to debut via select theaters across the States on June 23rd, before expanding nationwide on June 30th.