A terrible and nonsensical title notwithstanding, Deadline reports that debut writer-director David Lowery has, for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, managed to grab the killer trio of Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster, all of whom have attached themselves in lead roles. So, yes, I’d say there’s something special lying at this project’s heart. (Also: Between Brooklyn, Spike Jonze‘s new film, and this, wouldn’t you say Mara‘s had something of a banner week?)

Based on Lowery‘s own Sundance short, Saints is a ’70s-set crime tale centered on an escapee who, while attempting to reunite with his wife and daughter, is forced to face his own bad deeds in order to return home. Basic, and while that summary isn’t guaranteed to have you salivating over a start date, note that Lowery also won the 2011 SXSW Grand Jury Prize for another short, Pioneers. The fellow’s clearly got some talent in him.

And with that cast locking into place so quickly, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is sure to get many of us in a state of anticipation. Mara‘s packed schedule might preclude any sort of commencement in the near future, but I’d expect financing and other actors to converge in the meantime.

Is Saints looking good this early out?

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