EXCLUSIVE: In what is shaping up to be the first film he has directed since 2002’s Unfaithful, Adrian Lyne is eyeing a November production start on Deep Water, with Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck starring, and New Regency fully financing. Pending all the pieces falling into place, the plan is for the film to go through its deal with Fox/Disney.
Zack Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) and Sam Levinson (Euphoria) have adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel, and Garrett Basch and Steven Zaillian are producing with Entertainment 360’s Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner, and Anthony Katagas (12 Years A Slave). Arnon Milchan is also producing. It isn’t all done yet, but the plan is for the film to shoot in November.
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Pic is an erotic thriller, right in the wheelhouse Lyne established with such blockbusters Indecent Proposal, Fatal Attraction, and 9 1/2 Weeks. The filmmaker has long been intrigued with this one, first setting it up with Fox 2000 back in 2013. New Regency bought control of the property last year, and this gives them another plum project to go with the James Gray-directed Ad Astra with Brad Pitt, and the Robert Eggers-directed The Lighthouse.
Affleck and de Armas are in talks to play Vic and Melinda Van Allen, an attractive young married couple whose mind games with each other take a twisted turn when people around them start turning up dead. The couple staves off divorce in a loveless marriage by allowing each to take lovers, but it becomes messy as Highsmith exposed the surface facade of American suburban life.
Affleck covered this terrain a bit with Gone Girl, and he is separately planning to team with Matt Damon in the Ridley Scott-directed The Last Duel, also at Fox/Disney with a script by Nicole Holofcener, Affleck and Damon.
As for de Armas, the Cuban-born actress is in quite a moment. She is about to begin shooting the Andrew Dominik-directed Netflix film Blonde, in which she plays iconic actress Marilyn Monroe, with talks going on for Adrien Brody to play Arthur Miller and Bobby Cannavale to play Joe DiMaggio in a fictionalized look at her life. Dominik worked for years on this project, and looked at many actresses for the role of Monroe. He was intrigued when he saw de Armas in Blade Runner 2049, and they worked long and hard with a dialect coach to lose her Cuban accented inflection for Monroe’s breathy delivery before a screen test pleased Netflix and Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. She follows that film with the James Bond 25 film.
Affleck is repped by WME, Lyne by ICM Partners, Helm by UTA, de Armas by CAA, Impression Entertainment and Grubman, Shire.