It's been five years since Luca Guadagnino delivered the heady and swooning "I Am Love," and while he's been working steadily since on various fashion campaigns, shorts and documentaries, there hasn't been much movement on a feature film. Now it looks like he's ready to return, with another tale of domestic trouble.
Guadagnino has been tapped by Sony to direct "A Reliable Wife," an adaptation of the novel by Robert Goolrick. Andrew Kevin Walker ("Se7en," "Sleepy Hollow") has penned the screenplay about a mail order bride situation that turns very deadly, in a film that sounds like it will owe a tip of the hat to Alfred Hitchcock. Here's the Amazon synopsis:
Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she's not the "simple, honest woman" that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man's devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt - a passionate man with his own dark secrets -has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.
Sounds like it could be a decent little thriller, perhaps elevated with Guadagnino's eye for visual flourish. Production starts next winter. [Deadline]
Meanwhile, remember "Catfish" duo Henry Joost and Ariel Shulman? Well, after all the hype around their twisty documentary died down they spent a good chunk of time on two "Paranormal Activity" sequels. But they're getting out of the jump scare game for the online scare game. They'll direct an adaptation of Jeanne Ryan's YA novel "Nerve." Jessica Sharzer ("American Horror Story") has penned the script about "a high school senior wallflower who, in an attempt to broaden her horizons, joins a global online game of provocative truth or dare while an audience of "watchers" vote and comment. But as she becomes a sensation and advances higher and higher, the game evolves and soon she finds herself in a dangerous and life-ending situation." Geez. [THR]
Finally, last summer it was announced that Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara would star in a movie called "Don't Mess With Texas." And indeed it is a thing that is happening, as now Anne Fletcher ("The Guilt Trip," "The Proposal," "27 Dresses") is set to direct. The "Midnight Run"-esque action comedy will find Witherspoon playing the cop and Vergara as her prisoner, with both of them forced to go on the run. The plan is to shoot the movie this spring. [Deadline]