Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have grabbed lead roles in Pawel Pawlikowski’s next feature, with the working title The Island, set to shoot in 2023.
The dramatic thriller, loosely based on real events, will portray an attractive American couple in the 1930s who escape to their own private paradise on a deserted island and live off the land. But after a millionaire passing by on his yacht turns the couple into a tabloid newspaper sensation, a self-styled countess appears with two lovers and plans to build a luxury hotel on the island.
As battle lines are quickly drawn, psychological warfare ensues between the countess and the American couple as sexual infidelity, betrayal and eventually murder takes place among the island interlopers.
“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” FilmNation CEO Glen Basner said in a statement.
FilmNation Entertainment will begin to shop The Island to international buyers at the American Film Market, while WME Independent will pursue a U.S. distribution deal. Pawlikowski will write and direct the film, which is produced by Tanya Seghatchian and John Woodward for Apocalypso Pictures and Brightstar.
Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa are co-producing for Wildside and Vision Distribution in collaboration with Sky. Ewa Puszczynska is co-producing for Extreme Emotions, while Reno Antoniades will executive produce.
Phoenix is represented by WME and Mara is represented by WME and Entertainment 360.
This story originally appeared on HollywoodReporter