Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have signed on to star in The Island, the latest film by Polish auteur Pawel Pawlikowski. The film is reportedly loosely based on a true story and revolves around an American couple who turn their backs on civilization to build a secluded paradise on a deserted island, where they decide to live off the land.
But their version of Eden proves difficult to pull off, especially after a European countess finds out about their plans and arrives with her two lovers, planning to take over the island and build a luxury hotel. That conflict triggers some psychological warfare, with seduction and jealousy turning into sexual infidelity, betrayal, and eventually murder.
Pawlikowski is known for his emotional dramas, having won an Oscar for 2013 drama Ida and also directed films such as Cold War, My Summer Of Love, and Last Resort. This will be his fourth film in the English language, and first since 2011.
Tanya Seghatchian and John Woodward are producing for Apocalypso Pictures and Brightstar. Seghatchian said in a statement: “Pawel is the master of strong drama and he’s unmatched at creating attractive but emotionally complex characters whose reach often exceeds their grasp — especially in matters of the heart.”
Phoenix and Mara are a couple who previously appeared on screen together in Mary Magdalene a few years ago. Phoenix will next be seen in Ari Aster‘s Disappointment Blvd., Ridley Scott‘s historical epic Napoleon, and musical sequel Joker: Folie á Deux.
Mara can be seen in Sarah Polley‘s Women Talking from early December, and is currently filming drama The Kitchen.
Filming on The Island – which is only a working titled – is expected to take place in 2023.