Ryan "Hey Girl" Gosling is making his writing-directing debut with How to Catch a Monster, a mix of bedtime story and fantasy neo-Noir starring Christina Hendricks (Joan on Mad Men and Gosling's Drive costar).
The cast includes his current girlfriend Eva Mendes, who plays Gosling's ex-lover in Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines arriving next month. Meanwhile, Drive producers David Lancaster, Marc Platt, Adam Siegel and Michel Litvak are teaming with Gosling to back the project. However, this isn't just a reunion for the actor and his buddies - with Matt Smith (who plays the latest regeneration of The Doctor on Doctor Who) now onboard as the male lead.
Variety has the scoop on Smith coming aboard for How to Catch a Monster, which is serving as the actor's Hollywood debut after his break-out with Doctor Who and brief stints on British TV shows Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Party Animals and Moses Jones. Smith's role in the proceedings remains under-wraps, but the larger story is described as follows:
['How to Catch a Monster'] is set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city and centered on a single mother of two being swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town.
Hendricks, in an interview with Vulture last year, revealed that her single-mom character finds herself "working in this very surreal club that gets me into a sort of predicament," and specified that the establishment - known as the Big Bad Wolf Club, where Mendes plays "a prominent figure" named Cat - can best be summed up as an underground fetish club. So... Gosling's making something that sounds like the illegitimate love child of Pan's Labyrinth and David Cronenberg's Crash? Color us intrigued, if nothing else.
Gosling isn't the only youthful actor making a twisted and risque filmmaking debut, with newbie writer-director Joseph Gordon-Levitt's dramedy Don Jon's Addiction arriving later this year (after a successful acquisition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival). It'll be... interesting to see how both projects go over with audiences.
Production on How to Catch a Monster is slated to begin this May, with a 2014 release in mind. We'll keep you up-to-date on its status in the meantime.