Several weeks back we reported that Tom Ford, the acclaimed fashion designer and director of the 2009 film A Single Man, had hinted at his next film project, a two-part thriller based on a then un-revealed book. Now THR is reporting the details behind the project, titled Nocturnal Animals.
Nocturnal Animals will be based on a 1993 novel by Austin Wright called Tony and Susan and will be produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov under their Smokehouse Pictures banner. The title Nocturnal Animals actually refers to a story within Tony and Susan. Susan is a professor reading the Nocturnal Animals manuscript from her ex-husband and weighing her past with her husband, while Tony is the character within Nocturnal Animals, a man dealing with the challenges of a vacation turned violent and deadly. Here’s a plot description of Tony and Susan via Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly:
In this intriguing accomplished novel, the author of Camden’s Eyes and several works of literary criticism combines a stark take on a film noir theme with a postmodern meditation on the act of reading. Susan Morrow is surprised to hear from her former husband Edward, who has written a novel entitled Nocturnal Animals, which he asks her to read. The main character in the novel is Tony Hastings, who, in a late-night drive with his family from Ohio en route to Maine takes a detour down a dark road into death, confused grief and vengeance. As Susan becomes involved in Tony’s journey, she relives her past life with Edward and reviews her present one with her current husband, Arnold–both men she could never “read” the way she reads Tony. She finds herself asking two questions: how will Tony survive his trip’s terrible events, and what sort of a man has Edward become? And because Edward is “real” and Tony is fictional, only her speculations about Tony will be answered to her satisfaction. Written in contrasting styles–Tony’s account in sharp prose that ricochets in unexpected directions, Susan’s musings in fluid passages of emotional and sensory perceptions–the novel’s two stories mesh into a credible, suspenseful narrative. Wright infuses this excellent work with resonating observations about the reality of violence, where the loss of humanity is the price of revenge, and the “reality” of fiction and its place and power in day-to-day life. BOMC and QPB alternates.
Ford’s film will begin shooting in the fall.