Filmmaker Scott Cooper would like to have a word with you. The just-released trailer for the Crazy Heart director’s upcoming Fox Searchlight film, Antlers, clocks in just under two minutes but only one word is uttered the entire time — and it arrives only after a minute-and-a-half of tension-building music and sounds. The deftly edited trailer is powerfully effective both as a call to action for horror fans (“I want to see that movie.”) and as a fair warning to non-horror fans (“There’s no way in hell I would sit down in a dark room with that movie.”).
Antlers is Cooper’s foray into horror or the supernatural and follows his career-establishing decade of dramas abut broken men facing their days of reckoning: Crazy Heart (2009), Out of the Furnace (2013), Black Mass (2015), and Hostiles (2017). The producer of Antlers is Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who instigated the genre experimentation after observing “a lot of horrific moments” tucked into Cooper’s screen stories about soldiers, singers, and criminals.
The synopsis for Antlers which opens April 17, 2020: “A small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.”
The film, penned by Henry Chaisson & Nick Antosca with revisions by Cooper, is adapted by Antosca’s short story The Quiet Boy. It is also the first project in Fox Searchlight’s first-look deal with del Toro, who produced with J. Miles Dale, David S. Goyer. Kevin Turan is exec producing. Searchlight production presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, SVP Production DanTram Nguyen and coordinator Cornelia Burleigh are overseeing.
It’s not the typical or traditional fare expected from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures but that’s changed after the Disney acquisition of Fox. The now-Disney-owned Fox Searchlight presented a natural nexus for the Cooper and del Toro tandem — after all Searchlight released del Toro’s Oscar-winning The Shape of Water as well as Cooper’s career-launching Crazy Heart.
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