Richard Linklater‘s latest project, an adaptation of Maria Semple‘s 2012 novel Where’d You Go Bernadette?, has likely found it’s lead in acclaimed Australian actor Cate Blanchett. The Lord of the Rings and Blue Jasmine star is reportedly in advanced talks to take the primary role in the mystery thriller.The novel focuses on an agoraphobic former architect, Bernadette Fox, who disappears before a family holiday.
Narrated by Bernadette’s abandoned daughter, the narrative plays out through a series of informational documents, including memos, transcripts, and emails. The film will be scribed by writing duo Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber who, amongst their growing filmography, scripted 500 Days of Summer and the often overlooked coming-of-age drama The Spectacular Now.
Blanchett, who flawlessly portrayed the unhinged protagonist of Woody Allen‘s Blue Valentine, will take a similar role in Where’d You Go Bernadette. The eponymous lead battles her agoraphobia – an anxiety based disorder that causes irrational fear of public spaces and elements of social behaviour that remain outside of an individual’s control – using the planning of a family holiday to cope with her neuroses.
When plans fall through, Bernadette disappears, leaving her daughter to piece together the evidence left behind. As Bernadette’s daughter delves deeper into the mystery of her mother, dark secrets begin to emerge. Linklater often blends his naturalistic style with unconventional narratives; from his elegiac, dialogue based Before Sunrise series, to his piecemeal magnum opus Boyhood.
Using an epistolary novel as its source material, Where’d You Go Bernadette looks to be another interesting project from one of contemporary America’s foremost directors. Set for release in 2016, the film will be released soon after Everybody Wants Something, Linklater’s spiritual successor to his 7os set high-school movie, Dazed and Confused. Set in the 1980s, the sports comedy will centre on an college baseball team. However, news on the follow-up to 2014’s Boyhood is yet to be announced.