She was the star of Disney’s $1 billion grossing 3D visual F/X extravaganza, Alice in Wonderland, but Australian actress Mia Wasikowska seems more inclined to work on smaller, quality-over-quantity, productions in the future. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the actress is already in talks for Chan-wook Park’s Stoker.
Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan was previously attached to star in the acclaimed Korean filmmaker’s English-language debut, but has since signed on for Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby adaptation instead. Now it seems that Wasikowska is up to portray the “eccentric” and/or “moody” teenager (depending on who you ask) in Stoker.
Siblings Ridley and Tony Scott are producing Stoker, a tale of an unusual teenage girl whose estranged and mysterious uncle reunites with her family following the death of their patriarch – then, as Deadline puts it, “strange things begin to happen.” The film is based on a screenplay by Prison Break and Resident Evil: Afterlife star Wentworth Miller (credited under the pseudonym Ted Foulke), who has reportedly written a prequel, Uncle Charlie, that exposes the family’s unscrupulous past as well.
Stoker was originally set to be helmed by Ridley Scott prior to Park’s signing on for the project, which apparently actress Jodie Foster is no longer on-board either. Both of those talents are busy with upcoming sci-fi ventures (Scott is directing Prometheus, Foster is starring in Neil Blomkamp’s Elysium), and it’s perhaps all the more fitting that the creator of “The Vengeance Trilogy,” and films like I’m A Cyborg, is the one tackling Miller’s sinister and twisted family drama instead.
Wasikowska has already worked in collaboration with an admirable collection of directors, including Tim Burton on Alice in Wonderland, indie auteur Lisa Cholodenko on the current Best Picture Oscar nominee The Kids Are All Right, and Cary Fukunaga (who was responsible for the acclaimed 2009 Sundance breakout, Sin Nombre) on an upcoming new version of the literary classic Jane Eyre. Obviously the actress will eventually have to play something other than a young female character on the cusp of adulthood, but for now it’s a role she handles quite well.
Many foreign filmmakers before Park have attempted to make the transition from crafting material in their native language to delivering quality English-only work in the U.S. The results were pretty good (or at least financially successful) for the likes of John Woo (Face/Off), but something was literally lost in translation when arthouse director Kar Wai Wong (In the Mood for Love) tried it with his ensemble romance, My Blueberry Nights. Here’s hoping that Park’s new effort turns out for the better.
We’ll keep you updated on the development of Stoker as more information is released.