Michael Lander to direct psychological thriller

Ellen Page and Cillian Murphy will star in the psychological thriller “Peacock” for Mandate Pictures.

The title is derived from tiny Peacock, Neb., where Murphy’s character, a split personality, fools the town into believing his two alter egos are man and wife. Page plays a struggling young mother who holds the key to his past and sparks a battle between the personalities.

Shooting starts in May.

Michael Lander will direct from a script he co-wrote with Ryan Roy. “Peacock” marks the first film from Lander and Roy.

” ‘Peacock’ stunned me as a script from start to finish,” Murphy said. “It offers an incredible challenge to an actor — one I couldn’t turn down.”

Barry Mendel (“The Sixth Sense”), who is producing Page’s upcoming project “Whip It,” will produce “Peacock.” Mandate’s Nicole Brown and Nathan Kahane exec produce.

Murphy, whose credits include “Batman Begins,” will next be seen in “The Edge of Love” and Universal/Working Title’s “Hippie Hippie Shake.”

Page has booked three films in the span of a month. She will next star in Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell” and then segue to “Peacock” before taking on the starring role in “Whip It,” Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut.

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