×

‘Wild Things’ helmer returns for ‘The Harvest’

John McNaughton ends 11-year bigscreen absence with horror thriller

After an 11-year absence from the bigscreen, “Wild Things” director John McNaughton is set to return for psychological horror thriller “The Harvest,” for which Michael Shannon and Samantha Morton have come aboard to star alongside Natasha Calis.

Living Out Loud Prods. is financing “The Harvest” for under $10 million, while Elephant Eye Films will handle international sales. In addition to Calis (“The Possession”), pic co-stars Charlie Tahan (“Frankenweenie”), Leslie Lyles and Meadow Williams.

Written by Stephen Lancellotti, “The Harvest” stars Morton and Shannon as a married couple with medical backgrounds and a sick son (Tahan) who lives secluded in a controlled environment until a young girl (Calis) moves in next door and gives him hope of a better life. As the teens grow closer, the tight-knit world his over-protective mother has created begins to unravel.

Kim Jose, David Robinson and Steven A. Jones are producing with Williams. Production is under way in New York.

“This is the first horror script I’ve been interested in in 25 years, so it’s kind of cool to return to the genre,” said McNaughton, whose debut feature, the controversial 1986 pic “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” earned widespread acclaim.

“I got the script a few years ago and loved the story, which is dark and has a great twist. It’s like a cross between ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” explained the helmer.

Elephant Eye spent five years developing the project before attaching Shannon, whose involvement led to Morton signing on, as the duo had long wanted to work together.

In addition to Lionsgate’s hit horror pic “The Possession,” Calis also starred on NBC’s “The Firm” as Josh Lucas’ daughter.

Shannon, who was Oscar nominated for “Revolutionary Road,” can currently be seen in “Grace” on Broadway and on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” He next stars in WB’s “Man of Steel,” David Wain’s comedy “They Came Together” and the hitman drama “The Iceman.”

Morton, who earned Oscar nominations for “Sweet & Lowdown” and “In America,” will next be seen in Spike Jonze’s “Her.”

CAA reps Shannon and Calis along with Wetzel Entertainment and Impression Entertainment, respectively. Morton is repped by Conway van Gelder Grant and Principato-Young, while Abrams Artists Agency reps Tahan, who just wrapped Woody Allen’s next film.

More Film

  • Tokyo Director-in-Focus-at-Japan-Now

    Nobuhiko Obayashi set as Japanese Director in Focus at Tokyo Film Festival

    Indie director, Nobuhiko Obayashi will be feted as the director in focus at the Japan Now section of this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival will give a world premiere to his “Labyrinth of Cinema.” Supporting his art by shooting commercials, Obayashi is an indie whose dreamy works have influenced numerous other directors in [...]

  • Jimmi Simpson Joins Russell Crowe Movie

    Jimmi Simpson Joins Russell Crowe Thriller 'Unhinged' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jimmi Simpson will play a key role in “Unhinged,” Variety has learned. He joins an impressive cast that includes Oscar-winner Russell Crowe and Caren Pistorius. Solstice Studios is producing the psychological thriller, which is currently filming in New Orleans. “Unhinged” centers on a woman named Rachel (Pistorius), who leans on her horn at the wrong [...]

  • David Crosby

    David Crosby Says New Documentary 'Remember My Name' Is Like 'Being Naked in Public’

    “It’s not easy. It’s hard being naked in public,” David Crosby, the legendary troubadour of classic rock, reflected at Tuesday night’s New York City premiere of “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” “I don’t know what to do here. There’s no guitars, no drums,” he laughed. Directed by newcomer A.J. Eaton and produced by the legendary [...]

  • Javier Bardem Dune

    Javier Bardem in Talks to Play King Triton in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Javier Bardem is in talks to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. Harry Styles is also in early talks to play Prince Eric. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

  • UglyDolls

    STX Tries to Put Flops Behind It as It Searches for Star Executive, Fresh Capital

    After a series of film flops and an aborted initial public offering, STX Entertainment is battling mounting skepticism that it can survive in an increasingly unforgiving movie business. As it hustles to find $500 million in fresh capital, the company, which operates in the red according to financial disclosures, is simultaneously hoping to attract a [...]

  • Ryan Simpkins

    Ryan Simpkins Joins Fox-Disney's 'Fear Street' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Simpkins has joined Fox-Disney’s second installment of 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Fear Street” trilogy, based on the novels by R.L. Stine. Leigh Janiak is helming all three films. Previously announced cast includes Gillian Jacobs, Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, McCabe Slye, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Julia [...]

  • MPAA Logo

    Motion Picture Association of America Hires Emily Lenzner as Communications Chief

    The Motion Picture Association of America has appointed veteran public relations executive Emily Lenzner as its executive VP of global communications and public affairs. She will report to Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin and oversee the trade group’s communications team in the U.S. and internationally. Lenzner will start Aug. 1 and be based at the MPAA’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content