Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’ Kicks Off Production With New Details and Release Date
Sofia Coppola’s latest project already sounds like it could be her most interesting in years, particularly for a longtime fan such as myself who found her last two efforts — Somewhere and The Bling Ring — to be entirely underwhelming (though not without some merit). The director has officially begun production on her next film, The Beguiled, a Civil War-era drama which marks her fourth feature with Kirsten Dunst, and will hit theaters next summer.
Focus Features sent out an official press release to announce the start of production on The Beguiled. The new film is based on Thomas Cullinan’s novel, which was previously adapted for Don Siegel’s 1971 drama starring Clint Eastwood. Coppola’s version stars Colin Farrell in the Eastwood role and reunites the director with Dunst (The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette) and Elle Fanning (Somewhere). They’re joined by Nicole Kidman, Angourie Rice (the breakout star of The Nice Guys), Oona Laurence (Pete’s Dragon) and Emma Howard (Transparent):
The Beguiled unfolds in a girls’ school in the state of Virginia in 1864. As the Civil War rages, The Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies has been sheltered from the outside world— until the day a wounded Union soldier is discovered nearby and taken in.
That’s a very simple description of the plot, in which the soldier at first takes advantage of the attention lavished on him by the young women, but when he begins to resist their advances, things get…a bit weird. The 1971 film was surreal and somewhat unsettling; two qualities made all the more effective by Eastwood deviating from his usual gritty western fare.
It’s also one of a couple of older films (Picnic at Hanging Rock is the other) that align perfectly with Coppola’s sensibilities — so my expectations are a little high for this one, to say the least.
The Beguiled is currently filming in Louisiana, and has officially been scheduled for a limited theatrical release on June 23, 2017, followed by a nationwide expansion on June 30.