James McAvoy Joining Jessica Chastain In The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby
Though he made a straight-up excellent Charles Xavier in last year's X-Men: First Class, James McAvoy tends to get forgotten when you think back to that movie-- it's hard to outshine Michael Fassbender's Magneto and the outlandish dullness of January Jones's Emma Frost, after all. But that's always been one of McAvoy's skills, slipping into a role so seamlessly that he makes it perfect without drawing attention to himself-- see his turn as the doomed Robbie in Atonement, or the shocked observer to Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland.
That quiet turn in First Class means it feels like it's been forever since McAvoy was onscreen--well, that and his starring role in Robert Redford's The Conspirator, which absolutely nobody saw. So it's good to hear that not only does he have the British indies Filth and Welcome to the Punch coming later this year, but he's signed to another film with the actress you absolutely couldn't miss in 2011: Jessica Chastain. Actually, make that two films-- Chastain and McAvoy will star together in the double feature The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her. You may remember hearing about the project back in February, when Joel Edgerton was set for the male lead, but with the film being pre-sold in Cannes right now, it appears McAvoy is the final choice.
We don't know a whole lot about the story, except that McAvoy will play a restaurant owner and Chastain his wife, who goes back to college. The two films cover the same story from the male and female perspective, as the couple goes through a rough patch in their relationship and presumably experience things very differently. It's unclear why it will take two movies to tell two sides of one story-- films like Massy Tadjedin's Last Night do something similar in a swift running time-- but the chance to see Chastain and McAvoy act opposite each other means there's no room for complaints.
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