Hot off her breakout turn in Leave No Trace and his starring role in this year’s horror hit Hereditary, Thomasin McKenzie and Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne have signed on to join Amy Ryan in Netflix’s true crime movie Lost Girls, Collider has learned.
Lola Kirke (Gemini), Oona Laurence (Pete’s Dragon), Dean Winters (Oz), Miriam Shor (The Americans), Reed Birney (House of Cards) and Rosal Colon (Orange Is the New Black) round out the cast along with the great Kevin Corrigan (Goodfellas).
Two-time Oscar nominee Liz Garbus (What Happened Miss Simone?) will direct and make her narrative feature debut with the film, which is based on the award-winning non-fiction book by Robert Kolker. Michael Werwie wrote the script, fresh off his upcoming Ted Bundy movie starring Zac Efron.
Lost Girls follows Mari Gilbert (Ryan) as she relentlessly drives law enforcement agents to search for her missing daughter, and in the process sheds light on a wave of unsolved murders of young female sex workers on the South Shore barrier islands of Long Island.
McKenzie will play Ryan’s daughter, while Byrne will play the Police Commissioner overseeing the investigation. Winters will play a detective; Kirke will play the sister of one of the victims; Colon will play an intrepid reporter, and Corrigan will play a watchful local.
“I was lucky enough to spend time with Mari Gilbert before her death to discuss our project, her hopes, and her ongoing pursuit of justice. My hope is that Lost Girls honors Mari’s memory and continues her fight for justice and truth, a fight she shared with so many women whose stories are part of this film,” said Garbus in a statement.
Lost Girls was previously set up at Amazon Studios with Sarah Paulson attached to star, but Netflix picked up the project in recent months. Anne Carey (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) is producing via her Archer Gray banner, while Kevin McCormick (The Goldfinch) will produce via his company Langley Park Pictures. Garbus will executive produce alongside Carrie Fix, Rory Koslow, Amy Nauiokas and Vinay Singh.
Kolker’s book is one of the best true crime tales I’ve ever read, a story made even more maddening because the Gilgo Beach killer has never been found despite murdering between 10 and 16 people over a period of nearly 20 years. My fascination with the book doesn’t lie with its gory details, but rather, the humanity Kolker displays in writing about the victims and speaking with the families of the deceased. There’s a real sensitivity in the author’s approach, and I happen to think that Ryan is stronger casting than Paulson for this role, which requires a certain softness. I can’t wait to see how Garbus depicts Mari Gilbert’s strength, as well as her vulnerability.
McKenzie is a rising star from New Zealand who has earned raves for her performance opposite Ben Foster in Debra Granik‘s indie drama Leave No Trace. She’ll next be seen alongside Scarlett Johansson in Taika Waititi‘s Jojo Rabbit. McKenzie recently wrapped Netflix’s historical drama The King as well as The True History of the Kelly Gang, which pairs her with Russell Crowe and Nicholas Hoult. She is represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment, Industry Entertainment and Gail Cowan Management.
Byrne, who can currently be seen on Netflix’s Maniac, is repped by Paradigm and Dublin-based the Agency. Shor starred on the TV series Younger and is currently filming the indie Magic Hour in New York. She’s repped by Gersh and Impression Entertainment.