Michael Shannon is set to make his directorial debut in an adaptation of Brett Neveu‘s 2002 play, Eric Larue, Deadline has reported. The movie follows a mother, Janice, whose 17-year-old son Eric shot and killed three of his classmates. Three months after his arrest, Janice has neither gone to see him nor she has found a way to deal with what happened. As Janice faces a meeting with the mothers of the other boys in church, and a long-delayed visit to her son in prison, the story becomes not about the violence but about what we choose to think and do in order to survive trauma.
Neveu, who is also adapting the script, has stated the original play was a response to the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. 15 years later, while Shannon was directing another play Traitor, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. These two shootings led Neveu to adapt his original play that Shannon will now be directing as a feature film.
Shannon explained, “Eric Larue has so much to say about our country, about the way we try (sometimes quite ineptly) to deal with the trauma of living here, which is so insidious because it does not present itself overtly in concrete terms most of the time.” Further, speaking of his decision he said,
Like most great stories, Eric Larue plays at the macro and a micro level simultaneously. When I read the screenplay, I immediately knew I had to direct it. I saw it. I heard it. I could feel it. And I wanted to make sure that it received just the right touch in all its aspects, because at the end of the day, it is an extraordinarily delicate thing.
Speaking of the collaboration Shannon explained, “I find it interesting to align with artists possessing the most vivid imaginations, the most stringent yet empathetic senses of morality, and the most passionate and rigorous disciplines to create worlds and stories that contribute to our experience and understanding of what it is to be a human being in this day and age and, particularly, this country.”
Eric Larue is produced by Sarah Green from Brace Cove Productions, Karl Hartman from Big Indie Pictures, and Jina Panebianco from CaliWood Pictures. Serving as executive producers are R. Wesley Sierk III, Meghan Schumacher, Jeff Nichols, Byron Wetzel, Joh D. Straley, and Declan Baldwin.
Stay tuned to Collider for more information on Eric Larue.