Olivia Wilde, Hailee Steinfeld & Nicole Beharie Will Front Civil War Drama
Little Hailee Steinfeld broke through big in 2010 playing a young girl with an incredible will in the Coen Brothers' True Grit. Her turn as the fiery and tenacious Mattie Ross scored her an Academy Award nod at 14, and since then she's lined up a string of tantalizing projects including John Carney's musical drama Can a Song Save Your Life?, a take on Romeo and Juliet penned by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and the much-anticipated adaptation of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. While that trio of pics is set to hit in 2013, the teen leading lady is poised for a new project that will take her back to the South and into the heart of the Civil War.
Keeping Room is a drama written by Julia Hart that centers on three Southern women—two sisters and a slave—who must protect their home against a band of Union soldiers who have broken from their ranks. THR reports Harry Brown helmer Daniel Barber will direct, and Steinfeld will co-star with Olivia Wilde and Nicole Beharie, who dazzled critics last fall in her stand-out performance opposite Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen's bleak drama Shame. Obviously, Steinfeld and Wilde will play the sisters, while Beharie will play the slave, but it seems the narrative will be shouldered by all three.
With Steinfeld more or less back in the setting of True Grit, it'll be especially interesting to see how her skills as an actress have developed. Wilde is always mesmerizing onscreen, but her movie roles have generally proved less demanding than her work on television. This could be a great chance for her to put her drama chops to use on the big screen. As for Beharie, she really was incredible even in her brief role in Shame-- as the woman with whom Michael Fassbender's sex addict Brandon attempts an actual date-- and it's a relief to see her finally getting some traction from it. Together, this is a strong ensemble that could make Keeping Room a charged Civil War drama.
The film is currently seeking foreign buyers at the American Film Market; principal photography is slated to start in North Carolina this March.
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