Great news today for anyone who’s ever wanted to see Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore have an intense, psychosexually charged series of identity-blurring encounters that are also, somewhat inexplicably, co-produced by Will Ferrell, as word comes from the Virtual Cannes Market about Todd Haynes’ upcoming drama May December. The latest film from the Carol director centers itself on Moore’s Gracie Atherton-Yu, whose tabloid-bedazzled life with much younger husband Joe, already strained after their twin sons prepare to leave for college, comes under additional scrutiny after Portman’s Elizabeth—an actress set to play Gracie in an upcoming film—inserts herself into their world. To quote the press release, “as Elizabeth and Gracie study each other, the similarities and differences between the two women begin to ebb and flow,” so it definitely sounds like we’re in some Black Swan/Persona territory here.
May December is being produced by Rocket Science and Gloria Sanchez Productions (hence the Ferrell connection), plus Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler, as well as Sophie Mas and Portman herself. The film will be Haynes’ first dramatized feature since 2019's Mark Ruffalo pollution drama Dark Waters back in 2019; the director’s most recent project is his upcoming Velvet Underground documentary, which is set to premiere at Cannes proper next month. His old pal Moore, meanwhile, has been keeping herself busy over in the world of TV, where she’s currently starring in Stephen King adaptation Lisey’s Story, while Portman is fresh off her return to the Thor franchise with Taika Waititi’s Love And Thunder.
In a press release, Haynes praised writer Samy Burch for their script for May December, highlighting “how it navigated potentially volatile subject matter with a kind of observational patience that allowed the characters in the story to be explored with uncommon subtlety.” The film is expected to begin filming some time in 2022.