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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK / Italy / Poland

Pawel Pawlikowski ready to shoot The Island

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- The new film by the Polish auteur is set in the 1930s, and stars real-life US couple Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara

Pawel Pawlikowski ready to shoot The Island
Director Pawel Pawlikowski (© Mingle Media TV), actor Joaquin Phoenix (© Harald Krichel) and actress Rooney Mara (© Dora Britt)

The working title for the new film by Polish auteur Pawel Pawlikowski is The Island, and it’s set to shoot in 2023. Described as a drama-thriller, the movie is loosely based on real events. Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix and two-time Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara are boarding the film.

The picture is being produced by Tanya Seghatchian and John Woodward for the UK’s Apocalypso Pictures and fellow British outfit Brightstar. Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa are on board as co-producers for Italy’s Wildside, together with Vision Distribution. It is being made in collaboration with Sky. Ewa Puszczynska is co-producing for Poland’s Extreme Emotions, and Reno Antoniades is the executive producer.

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Written and directed by Pawlikowski, The Island is the tale of a US couple disillusioned with their 1930s society. Inspired by true events, Pawlikowski's screenplay follows these two people as they trade civilisation for their own desert island, where they intend to build a private paradise. When a millionaire's yacht passes by, the two lovebirds' secret affairs become a public sensation, attracting the attention of a European countess.

As battle lines are quickly drawn, psychological warfare ensues between the countess and the American couple, and sexual infidelity, betrayal and, eventually, murder occurs among the island’s interlopers.

Pawlikowski is already a renowned international filmmaker, who received much public love for Ida [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
in 2013 and Cold War [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
in 2019. The former won the Oscar in 2015 in what was then known as the Best Foreign-language Film category, and the filmmaker earned himself a Best Director nomination in 2019 for his most recent feature, Cold War, which also came out on top at the 2018 European Film Awards. Phoenix won the Oscar for Best Actor in 2020 for Joker and will next be seen in the title role in Ridley Scott’s Napoleon. Mara has garnered two Oscar nominations so far in her career, for Carol [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

It is likely that the new film will not be shot in black and white, unlike both Ida and Cold War. Before his last two critical hits, Pawlikowski directed 2011’s The Woman in the Fifth [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and the 2004 coming-of-age romance My Summer of Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Paul Rougier
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Tanya Seghatchian
film profile
]
.

No release date for The Island has been announced yet.

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