Academy Award-winner Joaquin Phoenix and actress Rooney Mara have just boarded Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski‘s next feature film, currently under the working title The Island. Though Phoenix‘s next project Joker: Folie à Deux is set to begin filming next month, The Island is already scheduled to begin shooting sometime in 2023.
Said to be a dramatic thriller both written and directed by Pawlikowski, The Island is a tale of an American couple disillusioned with their 1930s society. Inspired by true events, Pawlikowski‘s screenplay follows these two individuals as they trade civilization for their own deserted island where they intend to build up a private paradise and, essentially, live off-grid. When a millionaire’s yacht passes by, the two lovebirds’ secret affairs become a public sensation, attracting the attention of a European Countess.
The synopsis reveals that the Countess and her two odd lovers intend to stake their own claim of the island with plans to build a luxury hotel, threatening this peaceful utopia the couple have made for themselves. When lines are drawn in the sand, “[p]sychological warfare ensues as seduction and jealousy descend into sexual infidelity, betrayal, and eventually murder—at exactly the same time, nature itself turns against these island interlopers.”
Sales for the film will launch in November with FilmNation Entertainment, whose CEO Glen Basner says, “Pawel Pawlikowski is one of the world’s greatest filmmakers working today. Pawel bringing this story of jealousy, betrayal, and murder in a Garden of Eden is exactly what we all need to drive audiences back to the cinema.” As for returning to the cinema, the same can be said of Pawlikowski, whose last film was the 2018 Polish period drama Cold War, which premiered at Cannes, earning him the award for best director and three Oscar nominations. The director’s other feature film credits include My Summer of Love, The Woman in the Fifth and award-winning Ida, all of which Pawlikowski wrote for and directed.
The Island will be a reunion for the two leads for the first time since the 2018 historical drama Mary Magdalene, though their roles in the upcoming film have not yet been disclosed. Before his awe-inspiring performance for Todd Phillips‘ Joker, earning him an Oscar and inspiring Emmy-winner Brendan Gleeson to join the sequel, Phoenix was best known for his roles in films like Gladiator, Walk the Line and Her. Mara is best known for her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher‘s film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Carol and A Ghost Story.
No release date for The Island has been announced, but check back with Collider for more as the production develops.