You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Haynes ‘Safe’ pick for Playhouse

“Poison” helmer Todd Haynes has been set as director of the American Playhouse feature “Safe,” which stars Julianne Moore and Xander Berkeley and is set to go into production next month, sources said Thursday.

Haynes first popped onto the scene with “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story ,” the stop-motion animation cult favorite that used Barbie dolls instead of actors.

“Poison,” his first feature, won the grand jury prize at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival.

“Safe’s” budget is estimated between $ 1.75 million and $ 2 million.

“Safe” is about a Los Angeles housewife whose nice life in the suburbs is sabotaged when she contracts an illness from myriad foods, fragrances and fumes. In search of a cure, she goes to a desert community where she encounters “a dark web of emotions she never knew existed.”

American Playhouse took the movie out to financiers at the Cannes Film Festival. The company is financially partnered with Channel 4, Kardana Prods. and Arnold Semler on “Safe.” Producers are Christine Vachon (“Swoon”) and Lauren Zalaznick, while executive producers are Lindsay Law, James Schamus and Ted Hope.

Leading woman Moore appears opposite Matthew Modine in director Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts.” Her credits include “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,””The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag” and “Body of Evidence.”

“Safe” is the latest in a long line of highbrow American Playhouse features, which includes “Stand and Deliver,””Longtime Companion,””El Norte” and the James Spader/Mandy Patinkin starrer “The Music of Chance.”

The movie arm of Public Broadcasting Service, American Playhouse has recently stepped up its participation in production, including the Edward James Olmos/Sonia Braga/Maria Conchita Alonso starrer “Roosters,” the Matt Dillon/Joan Chen starrer “Golden Gate” and the Rutger Hauer/Kelly Lynch/Martha Plimpton starrer “The Beans of Egypt Maine.”

Typically, American Playhouse ponies up a fraction of the budget in exchange for first broadcast rights for PBS and equity participation in domestic theatrical and other ancillaries. For “Safe,” American Playhouse is putting up roughly 50% of the budget.

More Film

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Swiss Film Award Winners Led By

    ‘Those Who Work,’ ‘Chris the Swiss’ Top 2019 Swiss Film Awards

    Two debut features in writer-director Antoine Russbach’s “Those Who Work” and Anja Kofmel’s animated documentary “Chris the Swiss,” were the big winners at Friday night’s Swiss Film Awards, notching three plaudits each. Sold by Be For Films, “Those Who Work,” stars Belgian actor Olivier Gourmet, who has appeared in every single film by Jean-Pierre and [...]

  • Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson doppelgänger

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' to Easily Surpass 'Get Out' in Killer Opening Weekend

    Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller “Us” will likely slay the box office competition this weekend. It’s projected to generate an impressive $64 million through the weekend at 3,741 sites in North America, early estimates showed Friday. “Us” is over-performing recent forecasts, which had ranged from $38 million to $50 million. It should wind up with about $27 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content