From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in “Nocturnal Animals.”
Category: Nocturnal Animals
Nocturnal Animals: First look at Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams in Tom Ford’s new thriller — Exclusive
From the office of his name brand headquarters in London, Ford smiles at the mention of Firth’s Oscar speech shout-out. “It was so sweet of him,” says the 54-year-old superstar designer, who became world famous two decades ago as the creative director of Gucci and Saint Laurent. “Colin is a very loyal, solid, terrific person and I was so spoiled to make my first film with him.”
Ford has been even more spoiled on his follow-up movie, the dark, wicked, double-narrative Nocturnal Animals, which stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal (seen here in these exclusive images) in the lead roles. Like Ford’s debut film, this one is also based on a novel, which Ford once again adapted into a screenplay himself.
The 1993 book Tony and Susan was written by a Cincinnati author named Austin Wright, who died in 2003 at the age of 80. It starts with such a tantalizing hook: A married woman named Susan receives in the mail a manuscript called Nocturnal Animals from her ex-husband, Edward, who she hasn’t spoken to in years. As she begins to read Edward’s book — a tense page-turner about a family under siege by hoodlums on the highway late at night — we read it right along with her. And we wonder, what does it all mean? Is the book an act of forgiveness? Or an act of revenge?
Ford was certainly intrigued, enough so that he optioned the book’s rights. “I think that what Edward has done,” he says, “is written this book and sent it to his ex-wife and through that, he’s saying, ‘This is what you did to me.’ But it took him 20 years to express himself to her. And what really spoke to me was the whole part about the choices we make in our life. And how long we sometimes wait to make them.”
In the story-within-the-story, we meet Tony (Gyllenhaal), his wife (Isla Fisher), and their daughter (Ellie Bamber) as they depart for vacation in their car and cross paths with three dangerous men (led by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) on the road.
Their plot is filmed with extreme faithfulness to the novel — but Ford’s boldest move was to make the world of Susan (Adams) so adventurously different than it was in the source material, where she is basically just sitting on a couch flipping pages in the book. In Nocturnal Animals, Susan is a complex art dealer living in Los Angeles, dealing with feelings of apathy and a growing isolation from her husband (Armie Hammer). She’s seen here in her sleek, modern-art-dappled home, as played by Adams.
Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Stakes November Date In Awards Season
Tom Ford’s sophomore feature directorial Nocturnal Animals will be released by Focus Features in an exclusive engagement on Nov. 18. The film which is based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan focuses on an art gallery owner who is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale. Nocturnal Animals will widen on the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, before going wide on Dec. 9.
The pic stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Ellie Bamber and Laura Linney. Ford adapted the book to screen. During the Cannes Film Festival last year, Mike Fleming broke the news that Focus Features won the worldwide rights for Nocturnal Animals in a $20M deal, the largest of the fest. Focus would take domestic rights while Universal handled overseas. The deal calls for an eight figure P&A commitment.
Fashion designer Ford made his feature directorial debut with 2009’s A Single Man, which won the AFI award for movie of the year and the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival.