Dee Rees (Mudbound) has signed on to helm the independent musical fantasy, The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies. She will direct from her own script. Santigold will compose the music, while George Lucas‘ famed Industrial Light & Magic will create the film’s visual effects.
The film will revolve around a young musician in search of stardom, who catapults herself from her hometown of Same Ol’, Same Ol’ to the bright lights of the fabled It City. Clearly the project will be a heightened experience with a knowledge of musical tropes. Considering the reemergence of the musical as a genre, this is a smart move.
“I was inspired by the AfroPunk and SteamFunk scenes and want to re-imagine the whole Follies genre for today, lift it out of the problematic tropes of the past and invest it with a queer, edgy energy”, Rees said of the project. She went on to add:
“My favourite musical as a kid growing up was The Wiz, but ironically I generally hated musicals. Which is why I wanted to take this on and write something original — to try and do something unexpected with the form — make a musical for people who hate musicals”.
That sounds awesome, but it actually won’t be the next film we see from Rees. She’s currently in post-production on the Netflix political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted. That stars Anne Hathaway, Willem Dafoe, Ben Affleck and Toby Jones. It’s unclear when that will arrive on the streaming giant.
Rees previously directed the excellent Pariah, and received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for Mudbound. She’s already become a director whose every film is worth seeing. With The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies, that is more true than ever. It will be fascinating to see what she creates.