Last December, we heard that Guillermo del Toro would be producing Antlers, a film of the supernatural. Now comes word via THR that Keri Russell (TV’s The Americans, above) is in negotiations to star. What do we know about this project?
What’s the story?
Written by Henry Chaisson and Nick Antosca, it’s based on Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy.” The film will follow a teacher who tries to protect one of her students after learning a disturbing secret about his family.
Chaisson has written and directed several short films; this will be his first feature credit as a writer. Antosca is a novelist and writer for television whose credits include Teen Wolf, Hannibal and Channel Zero.
Who will star?
Keri Russell. Recently we learned that she is in talks to join the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX, which is scheduled to begin production in late July. Though we don’t know anything about the role itself, it’s likely to be of the supporting variety, which means she would be available to star in Antlers, slated to start shooting this fall.
Russell has completed her magnificent performance on five seasons of the spy drama The Americans, which no doubt limited her availability for feature films during the past several years. She’s a very talented actress, so we have no doubt that she’s be very effective in Antlers as a protective teacher who must deal with secrets and the supernatural.
Who will be directing?
Scott Cooper. His past films include romantic drama Crazy Heart, crime dramas Black Mass and Out of the Furnace, and, most recently, Hostiles, a Western. All have been critically acclaimed.
Although Cooper has worked in different genres, all his films have been gritty and authentic, featuring noteworthy lead performances. So that holds out the potential for Russell to shine, if she ends up playing the lead. Cooper’s command of atmosphere and mood also suggests that he is fully capable of making a slow-burning tale of the supernatural.
When might we see it?
Assuming that production gets under way this fall, there’s every reason to believe (and hope) Antlers will be in theaters in the fall of 2019. That would set it up nicely for awards consideration, if it turns out as good as we think it might.