Shailene Woodley will star in “Misanthrope,” an upcoming serial killer thriller, Variety has learned. The film will center on a talented but troubled cop who is recruited by the FBI to help profile and track down a murderer. FilmNation Entertainment will be presenting the film to buyers at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
In addition to Woodley, the star of “Big Little Lies” and the “Divergent” franchise, key talent includes director Damián Szifron, who previously oversaw the Oscar-nominated “Wild Tales.” Szifron wrote the screenplay with Jonathan Wakeham. It is based on an original story by the director. Filming will take place in Atlanta this year and additional casting is currently underway.
“Screenplays like ‘Misanthrope,’ that are this well executed both in theme and tone, are rare to come by with a director like Damian behind the wheel,” said Woodley. “I have complete trust we will create something that will have a profound impact on cinema and will resonate with audiences, especially given the times we are living in right now. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this team.”
FilmNation’s credits include “Arrival,” “The Big Sick,” and “Late Night,” the upcoming Mindy Kaling comedy that scored a record-breaking deal at Sundance, selling to Amazon. The company will finance and oversee worldwide sales for “Misanthrope.” FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder, Stuart Manashil and Woodley will produce. At Cannes, FilmNation will host a presentation to buyers that will include Szifron and Woodley.
“I’m privileged to be working with an actress as talented and inspiring as Shailene Woodley, this incredible producing team, and the support of FilmNation,” said Szifron. “‘Misanthrope’ will deliver the kind of cinematic experience that made me a filmmaker and I can’t wait to share it with audiences all over the world.”
“The minute this project came to us, we knew it was something timely and special that we had to make,” said FilmNation Entertainment CEO Glen Basner. “Damian is a rare talent, and we have no doubt he will create a decade defining film.”
Woodley produced and starred in 2018’s “Adrift” and returns in the second season of HBO’s buzzy “Big Little Lies,” which will premiere on June 9. She just wrapped production on the independent film for director Drake Doremus entitled “No No No, Yes.”
Szifron is represented by WME, Stuart Manashil and Bloom Hergott. Woodley is represented by Hyperion, Management 360 and Felker, Toczek, Suddleson and Abramson.