Ethan Hawke has begun rolling the camera on Wildcat, his next directorial effort that will introduce a new generation of cinephiles to the short life and legacy of Southern writer, Flannery O’Connor beginning from her days as a struggling up-and-coming novelist. Hawke‘s daughter, Maya Hawke will portray O’Connor which marks the first time Hawke is directing the Stranger Things star in a production. Hawke is in charge of the entire creative process and will equally serve as the film’s writer and producer. According to Variety, the Boyhood star has rounded out an A-list cast for the picture including Oscar-nominee Laura Linney, Philip Ettinger, Rafael Casal, Steve Zahn, Cooper Hoffman, Willa Fitzgerald, Alessandro Nivola, and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Known for her penchant for violent storytelling that heavily incorporated her wild imaginations on religion and featured grotesque characters, Flannery O’Connor earned notable honors for her craft, some posthumously. In Wildcat, Hawke will be taking a look at her years as a burgeoning writer living on a farm in Milledgeville, Georgia. O’Connor wrote several novels and shorts but was more notable for the latter—A Good Man Is Hard to Find, and Other Stories is widely regarded as her magnum opus. Her novel, Wise Blood served as the source material for a 1979 film of the same name. O’Connor sadly passed away in 1964 at age 39. Wildcat will be Hawke‘s second attempt at zooming in on the life of an iconic artist following the 2014 documentary film, Seymour: An Introduction about the life of classical pianist and composer, Seymour Bernstein.
“Maya has been working hard for years to put this project together, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to introduce a new generation of filmgoers to the genius of Flannery O’Connor,” Hawke said. “Her work explores themes important to all artists — the intersection of creativity and faith, the blurred relationship between imagination and reality.”
Though Wildcat will be the first time Hawke will be directing his daughter on-set, the father-daughter duo first worked together as actors on the Showtime limited series, The Good Lord Bird (2018). Since making her screen debut on BBC‘s Little Women in 2017, Hawke has successfully emerged from her father’s shadow and is regarded as a star in her own right. She’s best known for portraying Robin Buckley in Netflix‘s hit horror series, Stranger Things, and recently wrapped filming for the movies Asteroid City, Maestro, and The Kill Room.
Ethan Hawke will be directing Wildcat from a script he co-wrote with Shelby Gaines. He will produce alongside Maya Hawke under his Under the Influence Productions in collaboration with Good Country Pictures represented by Joe Goodman. Other producers include Ryan Hawke, Cory Pyke of Renovo Media Group as well as Kevin Downes, Jon Erwin, and Daryl Lefever of Kingdom Story Company. Executive producers include Eric Groth and Renovo‘s David Kingland.
Filming for Wildcat is currently underway. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA Media Finance will handle distribution, however, a release date is yet to be set for the film. Watch this space for further updates.