In yet more news of upcoming films being shopped around at Cannes, a mother-daughter vampire flick called Byzantium sounds like an intriguing project. It will star Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) and Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans), with acclaimed filmmaker Neil Jordon set to direct.
According to THR, Arterton and Ronan will play a pair of deadly blood-suckers in this film about a vampire mother who turns her own daughter into a vampire. The lethal team sometimes pose as sisters, and their presence in a sleepy town coincides with a string of murders.
Does anyone else feel that suddenly Hollywood is super-saturated with Ronan? She’s everywhere, fresh off Hanna and already set for upcoming film projects The Host, Anna Karenina, Effie, and now Byzantium. I think she’s a competent actress, but there’s something about her looks and demeanor I usually find unlikable.
Jordan re-teams with producer Stephen Woolley to make Byzantium. Their past collaborative efforts include Oscar winning The Crying Game, and the nightmarish fairytale The Company of Wolves.
Jordan is no stranger to atmospheric horror films. His dark, surreal 1984 The Company of Wolves (which he also scripted) has quite a cult following, and he brought a deft touch to Anne Rice’s tedious screenplay in Interview with a Vampire. He also directed a little known horror film called In Dreams, which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Annette Bening and sports some of the most artistic and stunning visuals I’ve ever seen in a horror film.
Byzantium is penned by Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre), and is the film adaptation of her youth theater play “A Vampire Story.” Though based on the slightly more innocuous tale geared towards youth, Woolley says the movie version will be a darker, more adult take on the original story.
I’m thinking this film will have a Let Me In vibe. As much as I hate to admit it, since I’m usually in the can’t-get-enough-vampires crowd, I’m actually getting sick of vampire-themed flicks; especially as finding a fresh vampire story is as rare as finding a fresh corpse nowadays. But this film has me hopeful. The story may be a little tired, but I expect Jordan will bring some amazing atmospheric and visual artistry to the table.
With a budget of only 11 million, Byzantium is set to start filming in October.