Casey Affleck To Lead My Abandonment For Debra Granik

triple nine casey affleck

With Manchester by the Sea rapidly building Oscar buzz ahead of its theatrical release this November, Casey Affleck is lining up another dramatic venture: My Abandonment, an adaptation of the 2009 Peter Rock novel.

The pic, a grounded drama, will follow the unusual dynamic between a 13-year-old girl and her father, both of whom live in a giant nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. They live their lives in almost total seclusion, dwelling inside a cave, bathing in a creek, and tending a little garden of their own. Once a week, the pair leave the preserve to buy groceries out in society, disguising themselves to blend in before returning to their isolated home. When a jogger stumbles across their hidden abode, however, the girl becomes conflicted over whether to remain with her controlling father or seek a life out among the rest of civilization.

Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) is sitting behind the camera and will also co-write the script with Anne Rosellini, a promising sign for anyone who’s seen Granik’s work. That the director isn’t a household name already is somewhat surprising.

Back in 2010, her breakout pic Winter’s Bone propelled Jennifer Lawrence from near-total anonymity to a Best Actress Oscar nomination, setting her on the path to global stardom, while picking up additional noms for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Assured, economical, and unsparing, Granik is the kind of director-with-a-vision studios chomp at the bit for. And yet, since Winter’s Bone, she’s kept a low profile, writing and directing a small documentary called Stray Dog, about war veterans.

Maybe My Abandonment will be the film that finally propels her to the forefront of Hollywood’s most-wanted list. Affleck’s been on a hot streak of late, and partnering with Granik for a drama as intriguing and offbeat as this sounds like it could pay dividends for them both.

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