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Philip Seymour Hoffman fans have been waiting quite a while for his directorial follow-up to 2010’s Jack Goes Boating, as he first committed to getting behind the chair in the summer of 2012. But when one has three Hunger Games films to star in, I guess he doesn’t leave a lot of time for filmmaking. Thankfully, the mysterious project has started building its cast, as Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams are set to take on two of the leading roles. No word on whether Hoffman himself will appear, but we’re hopeful.
Ezekiel Moss is a Depression-era thriller that centers on a small town boy who befriends a strange drifter played by Gyllenhaal, according to TheWrap. Not that drifters aren’t usually strange to begin with, but this guy has the ability to communicate with the dead. Or so he says. Adams will star as the boy’s widowed mother.
We can all see that moment in the trailer already, can’t we? The boy is huddled up in bed beneath a blanket and whispers to his mother, "I met a guy who says he sees dead people." Not as catchy as The Sixth Sense, but the right child casting could make it work.
This will be the second screenplay for Keith Bunin that will become a feature. It was honored with a spot on the 2011 Black List of unproduced scripts, so obviously Hoffman liked what he saw. Bunin has a good chance of becoming an instant legend soon, as he penned the adaptation of Joe Hill’s novel Horns for Alexandre Aja’s upcoming film, which somehow still doesn’t have a release date. Work your magic, Daniel Radcliffe!
This will be something of a departure for Adams, who usually opts for heavy dramas or comedies over dark thrillers. She recently received her fifth Oscar nomination for American Hustle (and not Man of Steel for some reason), and is a part of two Best Picture nominees: the aforementioned film and Spike Jonze’s techno-romance Her. She’ll soon be seen as artist Margaret Keane in Tim Burton’s biopic Big Eyes and in Andrew Levitas’ Lullaby, which could turn out to be the most depressing movie of the year.
Gyllenhaal is no stranger to thrillers, though, as his last film, Denis Villeneuve’s kidnapping drama Prisoners, was one of the bleaker films of 2013, and his next film, also by Villeneuve, is the doppelgänger mystery Enemy. He’ll be seen later this year and next year, respectively, with Dan Gilroy’s crime drama Nightcrawler and Baltasar Kormákur’s hiking thriller Everest with Josh Brolin.
Hoffman is possibly still filming Mockingjay – Part 2, so maybe Ezekiel Moss could go into production before too long. If you can’t remember what his last trip behind the camera looked like, the Jack Goes Boating can be seen below.