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Olivia Wilde has been in a wild variety of genres in these past few years, but psychological horror isn’t well represented on her resume. That will all change later this year when she begins filming the thriller Meadowland, whose generic description sounds just strange enough to retain interest.
I always get a little worried when really popular actresses head into thrillers, as these are often the films that stick around distributors’ shelves for longer than most. But Wilde is on a streak of great film choices, so let’s assume that will continue.
Meadowland is about the famed sports stadium growing sentient and avenging its name change when…wait, no, that’s not right. The film will star Wilde as a mother who runs head-on into turmoil when her son disappears and her life shifts dramatically. As Deadline describes it, she is "on an expected and dangerous path toward acceptance as she seeks out a relationship with a neglected boy and watches it take an unexpected turn." Does this dangerous path involve getting even with the person she assumes took her son, as Prisoners recently did? Will the neglected boy turn out to be connected to everything? He’s holding a knife! Don’t go in that room!
While we hope this film has more personality than a stereotypical "is she crazy" kind of film, it’s hard to tell, as this will be the feature debut for director Reed Morano. She’s served as a cinematographer and camera operator for around 15 years, most recently on John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings, Craig Johnson’s recent Sundance fave The Skeleton Twins and HBO’s latest comedy Looking. And it’s the first script from Chris Rossi, whom IMDb links to a grip that has worked on a bunch of stuff.
2013 was a great year for Wilde, who was a human date for OS-loving Theodore in Spike Jonze’s Her, one of Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, and Chris Hemsworth’s supermodel wife in Ron Howard’s Rush. She did something in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, too, but I forgot almost everything about that movie but Jim Carrey. She’s got a solid slate of upcoming projects to potentially match those, co-starring with Jason Bateman in Peter Glanz’s comedic drama The Longest Week, Paul Haggis’ interlocking story romance Third Person, and she’ll raise people from the dead with Donald Glover and Mark Duplass in David Gelb’s thriller Lazarus.
Unless it falls down an unexpected and dangerous path, production on Meadowland is set to begin this July in New York. For now, pour yourself a cold one and enjoy some Jake Johnson.