After his recent appearance in Dead For a Dollar, Willem Dafoe‘s next big screen appearance is set thanks to Focus Features. The film distributor picked up the psychological thriller Inside, which stars Dafoe as an unfortunate art thief, and set a release date of March 10, 2023, for the film. It’s also the feature debut of director Vasilis Katsoupis, who previously helmed the documentary My Friend Larry Gus.
Inside follows the art thief Nemo after his latest heist takes a turn for the worst. He ends up trapped in a high-tech New York penthouse with nothing to help him save for the works of art he was trying to pilfer. With no easy way out, he’s left with only his wits to help him survive. The idea for the film came from Katsoupis with Ben Hopkins, who is also the writer for the upcoming Limonov: The Ballad of Eddie, penning the screenplay for the film.
“With Inside, Focus continues our commitment to first-time and international filmmakers,” said Focus Features‘ President of Production and Acquisitions Kiska Higgs of the acquisition. “Vasilis’s thought-provoking film explores an experience we’re all now familiar with – isolation – and explores it in a visually stunning way.” Focus will be in charge of the U.S. and Canadian release while Universal International will distribute the film overseas.
Production of the film was handled by Giorgos Karnavas, Marcos Kantis, and Dries Phlypo with Katsoupis, Jim Stark, Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Charles E. Breitkreuz, Martin Lehwald, Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem, and Stephen Kelliher serving as executive producers. Karnavas produces through Heretic, the Greek production company that also backed the 2022 Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness. Katsoupis and Karnavas released a joint statement about the film and working with Dafoe, saying, “It’s a dream to have made this film, the way we wanted to, having the privilege to work with Willem and all these amazing filmmakers that supported us. Focus is the perfect place for the film, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Inside only adds to the long list of films Dafoe has coming soon, including Poor Things and Gonzo Girl. The four-time Oscar nominee is also on board another Focus project in Wes Anderson‘s Asteroid City which is slated to release later this year. He comes into Katsoupis’s debut off a monster year in his career, as he’s appeared in Robert Eggers‘ The Northman and Guillermo del Toro‘s Nightmare Alley. His biggest moment in recent memory, however, came when he suited up once more as the Green Goblin in Marvel’s multiversal hit Spider-Man: No Way Home which became the sixth highest-grossing movie ever at $1.98 billion.
Inside releases on March 10, 2023.