It was only a matter of time after Jacki Weaver’s Oscar nominated turn as the grandmother from hell in the Australian thriller Animal Kingdom that she would start popping up in American films. First up will be a role in Nicholas Stoller’s Five Year Engagement due out next April, but a second US-based film has just been added to her schedule and it’s exciting news to say the least.
Deadline Sydney is reporting that Weaver has joined the already strong cast of Park Chan-wook’s English language debut, Stoker. The film, written by Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller, tells the story of a teenager (Mia Wasikowska) dealing with her father’s recent death and the arrival of her odd and eccentric uncle (Matthew Goode) whose return home coincides with a rash of disappearances around town. Nicole Kidman is set to play Mia’s mother, and it’s presumed that Weaver will take on the grandmother role again. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she’ll try to have poor little Mia killed.
Weaver is the third Australian actor cast in the film, but more importantly she’s the fourth of four extremely talented performers to attach themselves to the project. (Yes, even Kidman is damn good when she wants to be.) Expect future announcements to include the likes of Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Eric Bana, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving…
The cast alone makes this a film worth looking forward to, but the real clincher here is Park’s involvement. The acclaimed director of JSA, Thirst, Lady Vengeance, Old Boy, and more is making his English language debut, and I can’t help but be both excited and terrified. Foreign language directors who’ve found international success don’t always thrive when they eventually arrive in Hollywood, but while it’s easy to point to their memorable style and tone being muffled by the system the real culprit is almost always the story. Park has chosen an interesting script for his debut in that it appears far less violent and dark than the films he’s generally known for while still retaining a high level of appeal and interest.
Also adding to the good vibes is the involvement of Fox Searchlight as the studio behind the film. There’s been no start date announced yet, but it can’t come soon enough.