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Jessica Chastain To Star In Adaptation of Russell Banks’ ‘The Darling’ From ‘Incendies’ Director

Written by on December 16, 2011 

It is hard to believe that just a year ago many of us had never heard of Jessica Chastain. In the past year the actress has gained critical acclaim for her work in art house films such as The Tree of Life and Take Shelter, as well as larger fare like The Help and The Debt. That is a pretty full slate of films for someone so new to the medium, but Chastain apparently has no plans on slowing down, as the list of future projects she is attached to continues to grow.

According to The Calgary Herald (via The Playlist), Chastain has been signed to join the cast of The Darling, a movie by Academy Award-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) based on the novel by Russell Banks. The story is expansive, following political extremist and Weather Underground member Hannah Musgrave for a period of 16 years beginning in 1975. Force to leave America, Hannah flees to West Africa, where she and her husband befriend a local warlord. From this friendship stems a series of events that sweep Hannah and her family into harm’s way. The story smacks of a devilish collusion between The Baader-Meinhof Complex and The Last King of Scotland, and the role of Hannah seems perfectly suited to Chastain, who has proven she can play a strong, compassionate, and caring woman.

This newest role is in addition to three other roles for which she has already been confirmed. The first is a science fiction film alongside Tom Cruise, to be directed by Joseph Kosinski, called Oblivion. The second film is a horror movie called Mama, which is being produced by modern horror/fantasy aficionado Guillermo Del Toro.  Last but not least, Chastain is set to appear in the prohibition era gang film The Wettest Country in the World, which will be directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, The Proposition). That film is also based off a novel, written by Matt Bondurant, which chronicles the true story of the author’s grandfather and granduncles, Virginia moonshiners with a brutal business ethic. Wettest County arrives this April, while Oblivion will be delivered in summer 2013.

How do these choices sit with Chastain’s current oeuvre, and are we running the risk of Chastain fatigue? Personally, I can’t imagine such a thing being possible.

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