Movies · TV

Jennifer Kent, ‘Babadook’ Director, is Back with Fresh Fodder for Your Nightmares

By  · Published on March 16th, 2017

Plus: Netflix gets some new talent, a post roundup and five perfect shots.

It’s been three years since director Jennifer Kent released The Babadook, and in all that time I still haven’t gotten a good night sleep, either because I was terrified said titular entity might be lurking in the shadows, or because I was wondering when and what Kent’s next project would be. A year or so ago she started dropping some hints, but as of a press release issued yesterday, we now have all the gory and glorious details.

The film is called The Nightingale – I’ve already got chills – and it sounds like we’re in for another dark thriller, albeit a little more grounded in reality. Dig the synopsis:

Set in Tasmania in 1825, THE NIGHTINGALE follows a beautiful 21-year-old Irish female convict who witnesses the brutal murder of her husband and baby by her soldier master and his cronies. Unable to find justice, she takes an Aboriginal male tracker with her through the hellish wilderness to seek revenge on the men, and gets much more than she bargained for.

Said female is Aisling Franciosi (The Fall), the film’s male lead is Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games), and they are joined by a supporting cast that includes Damon Herriman (Justified), Ewen Leslie (Top of the Lake), Harry Greenwood (Hacksaw Ridge), and newcomers Baykali Ganambar and Magnolia Maymuru.

“It’s certainly not a horror film, but it’s a pretty horrific world,” Kent previously said, “It was a really crazy time for women. We only hear the sanitized version and I wanted to explore it for real.”

Kent further said that visually she’s been inspired by the illustrations of Gustave Dore, a Frenchman from the 19th century who produced a lot of stuff like this:

“I want it to feel like it was almost like there was no sun, ever. They’re going into the centre of hell, and going out the other side,” Kent said, and it would certainly seem that the above sort of visual would lend itself to that sort of atmosphere.

Production starts this month for a 2018 release. Thanks to The Film Stage, who tipped us to the story.

In other news and points of interest…

…Netflix hired Scott Stuber, whose credits include the Fast and Furious franchise and Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind, to head film acquisition, development, and production…

…Aziz Ansari surprised everyone by releasing a trailer for Master of None season two, which will start streaming on May 12th…

The Batman is apparently chucking its existing script and starting from scratch

…Starz released another trailer for their highly-anticipated upcoming original series American Gods

…and in the happiest and most-unexpected news of the day, we’re getting more Legion.

Over in our corner of the internet we’ve had a lot of really interesting posts go up yesterday, including Matthew Monagle’s look at the ever-evolving franchises of Ridley Scott, Angela Morrison’s exploration of Marilyn Monroe’s acting talent, Jake Orthwein on what we learned from Terrence Malick’s SXSW appearance, Anya Jaremko-Greenwold’s interview with Personal Shopper director Olivier Assayas, and Max Covill’s take on The Matrix reboot.

And lastly, take a look at five of the most popular shots we tweeted over the last 24 hours. Want more? You know where to find us.

COFFEE AND CIGARETTES (2003) DP: Robby Müller and others | Dir: Jim Jarmusch
SCARFACE (1983) DP: John A. Alonzo | Dir: Brian De Palma
THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (2001) DP: Roger Deakins | Dir: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
CONTEMPT (1963) DP: Raoul Coutard | Dir: Jean-Luc Godard
EX MACHINA (2015) DP: Rob Hardy | Dir: Alex Garland

Related Topics:

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist