Sixteen-year-old actress Chloë Moretz is already no stranger to the darker genres of cinema, having starred in the ultra-violent Kick-Ass movies, Matt Reeves' haunting vampire love story Let Me In, and the crime thriller Texas Killing Fields - as well as providing voice talent for the rat-ridden steampunk assassination-themed video game, Dishonored. She will also be seen later this year as the lead in Kimberley Peirce's Carrie remake, and early teaser images show her drenched from head to toe in pig's blood, following the film's most iconic scene.
It's fair to say that Moretz's career has already been to some pretty dark places, so it only makes sense that her next should follow suit. Deadline reports that Moretz is in talks to join Exclusive Media's new thriller, Dark Places, based on the mystery novel by Gillian Flynn. The screenwriter and director for the project is Gilles Paquet-Brenner, who previously adapted the Sergio Brussolo novel Les Emmurés into a horror movie called Walled In.
You may recall that Amy Adams was originally cast in the lead for Dark Places last May, but she has since been replaced by Charlize Theron, who will play Libby Day - a woman who was present at the massacre of her entire family in a "Satan Sacrifice" by her older brother when she was just seven years old. Years later she begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the slaughter, and the possibility that it may not have been her brother who committed the murders after all.
Moretz will play Diondra, the one-time girlfriend of Libby's brother, Ben. Diondra is described in the book's synopsis as a "brooding metal fan", who introduced Ben to a lifestyle full of drugs and the dark arts - a lifestyle that apparently corrupted him and turned him into a murderer. The plot of the book switches between Libby's modern-day attempts to uncover the secrets of the past, and flashbacks to the day of the murder shown through the eyes of various different people involved - so presumably Moretz's role will be in flashback scenes. There may also be another casting announcement on the way for an adult version of the character.
Not having read the novel, I can't speak with any certainty about plot points and story elements other than those described in the synopsis, but the premise of Dark Places definitely holds a lot of promise. Thrillers and murder-mysteries that involve supernatural or demonic elements have potential for a lot of ambiguity about whether or not unseen powers are at play, or whether the horror is entirely human.
The talent being lined up also makes this project worth keeping an eye on; Theron won an Academy Award for her lead role in 2003's true-life serial killer film Monster, and Moretz is already a veteran of the horror, thriller and fantasy genres. Paquet-Brenner certainly has experience with novel adaptations (four out of his six previous films were based on books), but he's yet to prove himself with significant box office success or critical acclaim. Will Dark Places be the film that makes his career?
We'll keep you up to date on any further Dark Places news.