The Power of the Dog: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elisabeth Moss to star in adaptation
Variety is reporting that Benedict Cumberbatch (Avengers: Endgame, Brexit, Good Omens) and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Us, Her Smell) will be starring in The Power of the Dog, the adaptation of the novel written by Thomas Savage.
Jane Campion (The Piano, Top of the Lake) wrote the screenplay and will direct the project. The book tells a story of wealthy Montana brothers Phil (Cumberbatch) and George Burbank. Phil is brilliant and cruel, while George is fastidious and gentle. Together, they are joint owners of the biggest ranch in their Montana valley. When George secretly marries local widow Rose (Moss), an angry Phil wages a relentless war to destroy her by using her son Peter as a pawn.
“The Power of the Dog is a sublime novel that deserves a life on the big screen. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story, it really haunted me. The themes of masculinity, nostalgia, and betrayal are an intoxicating mix,” Campion said. “It’s also rare to find a story where the themes, the plot and the characters build tension as they reveal each other and even the end is satisfying and unexpected. It will be the first time I’ve worked with a male lead, which is exciting. Phil is a charismatic and complex character who declares war on his brother’s new wife and her teenage son.”
The project comes from See-Saw Films and Big Shell Films/Max Films in association with Brightstar. Roger Frappier of Max Films, who originally had the rights to the novel, offered the property to Campion after the two meet at a recent Cannes Film Festival. Tanya Seghatchian of Brightstar will produce, with Emile Sherman and Iain Canning driving the financing and physical production.
BBC Films has also helped develop the production, with BBC Films’ rose Garnett, Simon Gillis of See-Saw and John Woodward of Brightstar serving as executive producers. The Power of the Dog will go into pre-production at the end of this year.