Adams, Gyllenhaal and Phoenix Line Up for Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’


Amy Adams in Man of Steel
Amy Adams in Man of Steel
Photo: Warner Bros.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Adams is currently in talks for the lead role in fashion designer/film director Tom Ford‘s sophomore feature Nocturnal Animals, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to play Adams’ male counterpart. Further, Joaquin Phoenix and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are also being sought for key roles in the film, a bit of casting that would reunite Phoenix with Adams, whom he acted opposite in 2013’s Her.

With Adams, Gyllenhaal, and Phoenix potentially working together in the same film, I’d say that alone makes this worth keeping an eye on, but the fact it is a thriller, my favorite genre of film, piques my interest even more. Add in George Clooney and Grant Heslov (The Ides of March) as producers and you’ve basically got me stashing away funds for a ticket to the film, which Ford adapted from Austin Wright‘s 1993 novel “Tony and Susan”. Below is the synopsis of Wright’s novel, though it’s not yet clear how faithfully-adapted Ford’s screenplay will be:

Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband Edward Sheffield, an unpublished writer. Now, she’s enduring middle class suburbia as a doctor’s wife, when out of the blue she receives a package containing the manuscript of her ex-husband’s first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says.

As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a math professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read with her, we too become lost in Sheffield’s thriller. As the Hastings’ ordinary, civilized lives are disastrously, violently sent off course, Susan is plunged back into the past, forced to confront the darkness that inhabits her, and driven to name the fear that gnaws at her future and will change her life.

Ford describes the project as postmodern noir, and with the cast and crew the director is eyeing, I’m pretty well on board, though I’ll admit I never saw his debut feature A Single Man so I don’t quite know the magnitude of his skills behind the camera. I think part of the problem is I always get that movie confused with the CoensA Serious Man, which I also never saw, so perhaps I’ve just shelved them both because I can’t keep them straight. Writing about them here ought to help, right?