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Peter Weir Will Direct Gothic Thriller ‘The Keep’

Written by on May 20, 2012 

Although his last effort, 2010’s The Way Back, was perhaps one of his lesser accomplishments, we’re always anticipating the next project from Peter Weir. Considering the scope of that film, which largely failed at the box office, we thought it may be some time before we see another feature from the man who gave us Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, The Truman Show and Dead Poets Society. Thankfully, such is not the case as Variety has news on his next project.

Weir has announced his upcoming film, an adaptation of Jennifer Egan‘s novel, which is described as a “contemporary gothic thriller.” Unrelated to Michael Mann‘s film of the same name, this film follows two cousin who set out to renovate a European medieval castle. Set along this eerie backdrop, supernatural happenings begin to unfold in the script Weir will adapt himself. It’ll be great to see the director take on something less sprawling and more focused and fantastical, like some of his earlier work.

Check out the synopsis of the novel below via Amazon.

Two cousins, irreversibly damaged by a childhood prank whose devastating consequences changed both their lives, reunite twenty years later to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe, a castle steeped in blood lore and family pride. Built over a secret system of caves and tunnels, the castle and its violent history invoke and subvert all the elements of a gothic past: twins, a pool, an old baroness, a fearsome tower. In an environment of extreme paranoia, cut off from the outside world, the men reenact the signal event of their youth, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a prisoner, in jail for an unnamed crime, recounts an unforgettable story—a story about two cousins who unite to renovate a castle—that brings the crimes of the past and present into piercing relation.

Egan’s relentlessly gripping page-turner plays with rich forms—ghost story, love story, gothic—and transfixing themes: the undertow of history, the fate of imagination in the cacophony of modern life, the uncanny likeness between communications technology and the supernatural. In a narrative that shifts seamlessly from an ancient European castle to a maximum security prison, Egan conjures a world from which escape is impossible and where the keep—the last stand, the final holdout, the place you run to when the walls are breached—is both everything worth protecting and the very thing that must be surrendered in order to survive.

Production is looking to begin in Europe and Australia next spring for $30 million.

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