Ever since her transformative performance in David Fincher’s amazing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation, Rooney Mara has been highly in-demand. She’s had her pick of projects over the past few years, appearing in such great films as David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and Spike Jonze’s Her. Mara’s upcoming schedule looks equally promising – she’s got Stephen Daldry’s Trash, a Terrence Malick film, Todd Haynes’ romantic drama Carol and Joe Wright’s blockbuster Pan on the way. Now, the actress has joined another exciting project – Annapurna Pictures’ memoir adaptation A House in the Sky.
Mara will star in and produce the adaptation, based on Amanda Linhout’s account of the ordeal she underwent after being abducted by a rebel terrorist group whilst exploring Somalia in 2008. Amazon’s synopsis for the book reads as follows:
As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, Alberta, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.
Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured.
Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Based on that, A House in the Sky sounds like another complex and harrowing lead role for Mara, who launched her career with one. We’ll watch anything the actress is in, but A House in the Sky sounds ambitious and emotional enough to perhaps also serve as her next big awards contender.
We’ll keep you posted as Annapurna locks a director, screenwriter and supporting cast into place.