Following on from yesterday’s news that George Clooney will produce the next project for writer-director Tom Ford, today sees Variety reporting that Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal are in aggressive pursuit of the lead roles in the adaptation, titled Nocturnal Animals. While firm offers have yet to be made, “insiders say it is headed in that direction.”
The fact that potential casting news has so closely followed the announcement of the project and its producers is indicative of the momentum that is building behind this film – the second directorial outing for fashion designer Tom Ford. His previous effort, 2009’s A Single Man earned an Academy Award nomination for its lead actor, Colin Firth, as well as Golden Globe nominations for Firth and lead actress Julianne Moore. Ford penned that adapted script, which is why such excitement has sprung up around Nocturnal Animals – it being his second adapted script for film.
The story comes from the book Tony And Susan by Austin Wright, and is a tale-within-a-tale postmodern noir thriller. The woman of the title – Susan – receives a book manuscript by mail, from the man she divorced 20 years previously and, when she begins to read it, she finds a compelling story of a man named Tony. Frightening tragedy befalls Tony and his family as they travel by car for a vacation and, amid the fictional drama, Susan gradually becomes aware of similarities between herself and the character of Tony. In reading the manuscript, Susan must then confront some uncomfortable truths about herself. The title of the film adaptation, Nocturnal Animals, is the name of the book manuscript that Susan receives.
If this casting deal comes to fruition, it will be the first collaboration for Adams and Gyllenhaal. Their interest in the project suggests that there is indeed an impressive script underpinning the venture, as these two performers are most particularly at the top of their game. Adams already has five Academy Award nominations to her name, and Gyllenhaal has one of his own. While Adams is currently dominating both independent film – with projects such as Big Eyes and Lullaby – and Hollywood blockbusters, with her franchise role as Lois Lane, Gyllenhaal is picking up some of the best reviews of his career after a string of films that has included Prisoners, Enemy and Nightcrawler.
The interest of these two actors will only add to the speed with which Nocturnal Animals seems to be approaching production. In addition, with Clooney and Grant Heslov working behind the scenes – as they did for the Academy Award winning Argo – Tom Ford’s second time in the director’s chair will almost certainly be the film everyone is talking about in the 2016 awards season.