‘Out of Blue’ will star Patricia Clarkson, and marks the ‘Dreams of a Life’ director’s first attempt to break America.
Carol Morley, director of 2011’s empathic part-drama part-documentary Dreams of a Life and more recently 2014’s quietly compelling The Falling, is returning to filmmaking.
Based on Martin Amis’ neo-noir novel Night Train, Morley’s film will focus on Detective Mike Hoolihan as she’s called to investigate the shooting of black hole expert Jennifer Rockwell.
The film, called Out of Blue, will begin production in Atlanta, Georgia later this year. Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island, The Green Mile) will star as Hoolihan, while Morley continues her role as writer-director in helming the screen adaptation of Amis’ novel. With the BFI, BBC Films, and Morley and long-time producer Cairo Cannon’s production company (CAMP) behind the film, it’s looking like Out of Blue could be Morley’s biggest film yet.
While the introduction of Clarkson’s talent to Morley’s onscreen enigmatic worlds is exciting enough, Out of Blue will also feature Toby Jones (most recently seen in Sherlock), Mamie Gummer (The End of the Tour, The Good Wife) and Teyonah Parris (Chi-Raq). Having discovered breakout talents such as Zawe Ashton (the star of Morley’s Dreams of a Life) and Florence Pugh (The Falling, but who you will most likely recognize from this year’s Lady Macbeth), this is arguably Morley’s most well-known cast to date.
It’s also her most American cast, which hopefully means Morley’s work will reach a larger audience.
The film’s producers, Luc Roeg (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Cannon, have said, via Screen Daily:
“Carol has written such an original and distinctive screenplay that Out Of Blue will be sure to consolidate her reputation as one of the UK’s most dynamic directorial talents. Patricia Clarkson is an actor we have always admired and we know her Mike will be an iconic character, a complex woman on screen to watch again and again.”
Morley’s feature films each explore the complexity of being either a woman or a young woman. In The Alcohol Years (2000), the director presents refreshing honesty in searching for a past self lost to alcohol. The film is a poetic experimentation of the documentary form, often calling to question ideas of identity and the self. Dreams of a Life chronicles the mysterious death of Joyce Vincent; a woman left dead in her bedsit for five years. The Falling, Morley’s most successful fictional film to date, uses mystery and mass hysteria to explore the complicated, messy years between being a young woman and a woman.
What each of these films has in common is not just their focus on womanhood, but the fact that they are jigsaw puzzles. When watching her oeuvre, the viewer comes to realize that Morley’s films are pieces of a puzzle, attempting to decode one small mystery of what it means to be a person, or, more specifically, a woman, on Earth.
Out of Blue will be the next piece of Morley’s jigsaw, and let’s hope it’s a big piece.