They don’t make movies like they used to, but in the case of the erotic thriller, they barely make them at all. The steamy-sleazy subgenre enjoyed a spike in popularity during the ’90s, due in no small part to the efforts of filmmaker Adrian Lyne, but has since fallen into sad disrepair under the buttoned-up Hollywood paradigms of today.
Lyne’s been out of the game since 2002, when he guided Diane Lane to an Oscar nomination for Unfaithful, but the director behind such lurid gems as 9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, and Indecent Proposal is coming back. And he’s bringing the erotic thriller with him.
He’ll mount a singlehanded revival with a new feature currently titled Deep Water, according to a new exclusive from Deadline. This isn’t some rinky-dink “washed-up talent slumming it on the no-budget outskirts” operation, either; he’s got full financing from New Regent, and has already tapped bona fide stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas to headline.
They’ll play married couple Vic and Melinda Van Allen, locked in a loveless union sustained only by a mutual agreement to sleep with other people. But as corpses begin mysteriously piling up around them, they must inspect the fault lines in the nuclear American family as the enmity between them only continues to grow.
In case all of the sexy duplicitousness wasn’t a dead giveaway, this story has been adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, the suspense virtuoso behind The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train. For added libido, the script will be drawn up by Stranger Than Fiction scribe Zack Helm along with Sam Levinson, showrunner of HBO’s hormone-fueled Euphoria.
The noteworthy names attached to the project have made it one to keep an eye on, but it’s most intriguing for its anachronistic quality. Whenever the odd erotic thriller sneaks into multiplexes (2017’s Unforgettable, for one), it feels like a holdover from a couple decades earlier, and with Lyne back behind the camera, that feeling will come straight from the source.
Published 2 Aug 2019
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