By Simon Dang | The Playlist January 23, 2012 at 12:46PM
'Darling Companion' To Premiere At The Santa Barbara Film Festival
It's been a whole 11 years since "Return Of The Jedi" and "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" writer Lawrence Kasdan last tested himself behind the camera with the critically-panned sci-fi fantasy pic "Dreamcatcher" but 2012 will see the writer-director return to the tried and true family drama genre with "Darling Companion" before moving on to an adaptation of a thriller novel by "Tell No One" author Harlan Coben.
Described as a 'Big Chill'-esque tale, 'Darling' features a fairly strong cast with Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Richard Jenkins, Dianne Wiest and Sam Shepherd and has been described as the comic, harrowing and deeply emotional story of a woman who enlists the help of numerous guests and a mysterious woman to find her beloved dog -- all while her relationship with her self-involved husband deteriorates. Once plotted as a potential 2012 award season dark horse, it'll be fascinating to see what Kasdan has conjured with the film to now set to premiere at the upcoming Santa Barbara Film Festival. A trailer has now arrived for the film which you can watch below. It opens on Aprll 20th.
Kasdan looks to have rediscovered the directorial bug too as he's team up with author Harlan Coben to adapt his upcoming novel, "Stay Close." Coben and Kasdan will co-write the script for the tale about how a past crime returns to devastate the lives of a photojournalist, a suburban mother with a hidden past, and a homicide detective obsessed with a series of unsolved disappearances. Here's the full synopsis courtesy of Amazon:
Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she's got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at age forty he finds himself in a dead- end job posing as a paparazzo pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Jack is a detective who can't let go of a cold case-a local husband and father disappeared seventeen years ago, and Jack spends the anniversary every year visiting a house frozen in time, the missing man's family still waiting, his slippers left by the recliner as if he might show up any moment to step into them. Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past doesn't recede. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all. And as each confronts the dark side of the American Dream- the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest facades- they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat.
Coben, of course, teamed with Guillaume Canet on his adptation of "Tell No One," which the director crafted into a compelling film and arthouse smash starring François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze and André Dussollier. An American remake has been in the works ever since Canet's film was semi-box office hit with Ben Affleck most recently attached as the director. Kasdan, though, believes he's scored the rights to one of Coben's best works.
"I think it’s the most adaptable of his books, with a tight plot and strong characters," the writer-director noted. "We’ll have the script ready by March, and at that point we’ll see who salutes. When you boil Harlan’s fiction to its core, it’s intensity, momentum and tension and this will be a medium budget sexy and violent film." Obviously, how "Darling Companion" fares with it's festival premiere and theatrical release will our temper our own anticipation of subsequent Kasdan efforts, but teaming with Coben is a pretty exciting prospect.