Production has started in Los Angeles. Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn are producing through their Mockingbird Pictures banner with Broadway producers Wendy Federman and Carl Moellenberg.
The film is based on a short story of the same name by E.L. Doctorow — which is a retelling of a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, also called “Wakefield” — about a man who unexpectedly leaves his wife for an extended period of time.
Cranston revealed the project during a November interview on “The Howard Stern Radio Show,” explaining that he will play a married Manhattan lawyer who sees a raccoon in the attic of his home and winds up staying in the attic for several months due to a nervous breakdown. He also said his character will become romantically involved with a younger woman at some point in the story.
Cranston’s character will depart his family after being left stranded and recalling a fight he had with his wife the previous night. When he arrives at home, he decides not to enter his house but instead climbs the stairs of his carriage house-turned-garage up to the attic space — and lives there for the next nine months, emerging only at night and rummaging through trash cans for food while watching his family adjust to life without him much faster than he expects.
Curtis and Lynn partnered under the Mockingbird Pictures banner after producing “Albert Nobbs,” which was nominated for three Academy Awards. Mockingbird produced “Last Days in the Desert,” which premiered at Sundance this year, and Rob Spera’s “The Sweet Life,” which is currently in post-production.
Federman and Moellenberg have together won 11 Tony Awards for Broadway productions including “Hair,” “Spring Awakening,” “War Horse,” “Pippin,” “Death of a Salesman” and “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.” They also produced last year’s Broadway hit “All the Way,” for which Cranston won a Tony as Lyndon B. Johnson.
“We joyfully supported Bryan on his way to the Tony stage with ‘All the Way,’ and we are looking forward to joining him on this cinematic journey with ‘Wakefield,’” said Federman and Moellenberg.
Red Granite International is handling foreign sales. UTA is handling domestic sales.
Garner is starring in Robbie Brenner’s “The Tribes of Palos Verdes” and will next appear in Columbia’s “Miracles from Heaven” and in Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Nine Lives.”
Cranston is currently starring in “Trumbo” as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, directed by Jay Roach, and will be seen in drug-sting drama “The Infiltrator.” He won four Emmys for “Breaking Bad.”
Swicord’s screenplay credits include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Jane Austen Book Club,” which she also directed.