A couple years ago, before a biblical epic trend started to pick up and he finally got his Noah film funded, Darren Aronofsky was shopping an exceptionally intriguing novel adaptation, Serena, that was being pitched as “Aronofsky’s There Will Be Blood.” At the time, I also remarked that it sounded like it had shades of Antichrist as the Ron Rash story of a late-twenties couple bent on building a timber empire is said to go to very dark places once the wife discovers she can’t bear children and directs her fury towards her husband’s bastard son. Angelina Jolie was set to star and was intimately involved with the sales pitches that never materialized into a production.

Obviously the project went dormant in the many months since, but now it has been resurrected as a directorial project for Susanne Bier (Things We Lost In The Fire, In A Better World) and will star Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Bier’s films have never crossed my path, so I’m not sure if she’s an exciting visionary that I should be pleased to hear is behind this concept, but I certainly hope that’s the case, as the pieces of an amazing puzzle are there. Shooting is apparently set to start soon, so I guess all the deals are in place and this film will finally surface.

I’ll be quietly keeping my fingers crossed for something that lives up to the evocative premise.

Publisher Ecco/Harper Collins, October 2008

The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive from Boston in the North Carolina mountains to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself the equal of any worker, overseeing crews, hunting rattlesnakes, even saving her husband’s life in the wilderness.

Together, this Lord and Lady Macbeth of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she vengefully sets out to kill the son George had without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pemberton’s intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.

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Source | Vulture (via JoBlo)