Haynes finds ‘Heaven’

Pic described as a Sirkian melodrama set in 1950s Connecticut

CANNES — Writer/director Todd Haynes is re-teaming with New York’s Killer Films for his next pic, “Far From Heaven,” with Julianne Moore set to star.

ARP of France has signed up to sell the project in continental Europe. John Sloss’ Cinetic Media is spearheading the financing in the rest of the world.

Executive producers include Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney’s Section 8 shingle, and John Wells Prods.

“Far From Heaven,” which is budgeted under $15 million, is described as a Sirkian melodrama set in 1950s Connecticut.

Moore, who previously starred in Haynes’ sophomore feature “Safe,” will play a housewife who finds herself splintered between a marital crisis at home and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Haynes plans to shoot the film in Douglas Sirk’s lush style, with constructed sets and rear projection.

Said Haynes, “I have always loved Sirk. His melodramas were dismissed as ‘women’s films’ in the 1950s, but actually managed to deal with a lot of explosive topics like race, class and sexuality in ways that no other films could. He used heightened emotions and a lush style to tackle some incredibly radical ideas.”

Haynes wrote the screenplay for “Far From Heaven” with Moore in mind.

“Her courage as an actor and her intelligent and powerful restraint is, in my mind, unparalleled,” he said.

ARP, run by Michele Halberstadt and Laurent Petin, committed to the project on the same day that Moore confirmed her involvement.

“Todd Haynes is one of the greatest American directors of his generation, and ‘Far From Heaven’ is heart-wrenching,” said Halberstadt.

“We are thrilled to be working with Michele and Laurent at ARP,” said Killer’s co-head Christine Vachon. “They have incredible taste and have always recognized that Todd is a true visionary.”

Soderbergh was also eager to work with Haynes. “Todd Haynes is one of my favorite filmmakers on the planet,” said the Oscar-winning director. “We’re honored and excited to be part of his newest film, which will continue to show he is one of the most daring and original directors working today.”

The project is being overseen for Killer by the company’s head of development Brad Simpson.