Twin Peaks star Naomi Watts will take the lead in The Wolf Hour, a psychological thriller set during the New York City blackouts of 1977. Writer/director Alistair Banks Griffin is making the film as the follow-up to his 2010 Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight entry Two Gates of Sleep.
The film centers on June Leigh (Watts), a ’60s-era big-shot activist who has fallen on hard times by the late ’70s. An unknown tormenter forces Leigh to battle her demons during the 1977 New York City blackout, a real-life incident where most of the city lost power for two days, creating tensions that spilled over into widespread looting, vandalism and arson, and ultimately led to an estimated $300 million in damage.
As reported by THR, Naomi Watts has signed on for the lead role of The Wolf Hour. Watts will also take an executive producer credit alongside Felipe Dieppa, Garrett Fennelly, and Taryn Nagle of Big Picture Company, Belladonna Productions’ Linda Moran and Automatik’s Fred Berger, as well as Gabrielle Nadig. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Bailey Conway Anglewicz of Automatik will produce along with Bradley Pilz of Bradley Pilz productions. The Wolf Hour was supported by the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program and will go into production beginning in late fall of 2017.
Alistair Banks Griffin’s debut feature Two Gates of Sleep, a drama about two brothers going on a quest up the Mississippi River to honor their dying mother’s final request, competed for the Camera d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The Brooklyn-based Griffin is sticking closer to home for his second film, which will delve into a terrifying real-life incident from New York City’s history, while also giving Watts a chance to shine playing a down-and-out character going through a harrowing experience of her own.
Watts has already had a busy 2017, appearing in the critically-panned Colin Trevorrow flop The Book of Henry, the indie film The Glass Castle, the already-canceled Netflix series Gypsy and the much-discussed David Lynch Showtime event series Twin Peaks: The Return. Next year, Watts will appear alongside Daisy Ridley in the Hamlet re-imagining Ophelia. She is also tentatively signed-on for Ascendant, the Starz TV movie wrap-up of the Divergent series.
The chameleon-like Watts has done her share of horror films and psychological thrillers over the years, often getting a chance to explore some very dark territory (doing so most memorably as the dual characters Betty and Diane in Lynch’s masterpiece Mulholland Dr.). In The Wolf Hour, both Watts and New York City itself will go pitch dark, and come face-to-face with their terrifying demons.
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