Sandra Oh and Julianne Moore are teaming up and hitting the seas. Both actors are set to join to the film adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s short story (first published in the New Yorker) called Stone Mattress. Director Lynne Ramsay will be at the helm.
The film, which Deadline calls a “blue-chip revenge thriller,” is set on a cruise ship in the Arctic.
Moore will play Verna, who is described as a 60-year-old retired physiotherapist and a two-time widow. Verna joins the luxury Arctic cruise and rubs shoulders with “ a crowd of privileged influencers and wealthy retirees.” It’s on the cruise ship that she meets “friendly and charming” Grace (played Oh) and Bob. Bob, punching way above his weight, tries to seduce Verna who becomes unsettled by his presence and realizes “he might not be the foolish yet harmless man he initially appears to be.” Ultimately, the idyllic cruise is “disturbed by a shocking act.”
Like most of Atwood’s work, Stone Mattress feels especially timely and relevant—which is something that drew Ramsay to the film. “With the current repeal in women’s rights across the world, particularly regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade in America, this story, with its themes of stolen motherhood and unaccounted sexual abuse, feels more important than ever,” she says in a statement, per Deadline.
“I first read Margaret Atwood when I was a teenager, and her work has gripped me ever since,” Ramsay adds. “She is simply one of the most intelligent, prophetic and engaging writers around and Stone Mattress is another perfect illustration of that. I was immediately gripped by the way it framed the deeply buried trauma of a post-menopausal woman – an age group we hear from all too rarely – through the dynamic and multifaceted character of Verna.”
Ramsay continues, “From its tongue-in-cheek humor to its moments of icy vengeance and delicate portrayal of an emotional repression specific to the boomer generation, it is a story I’ve wanted to materialize on-screen since my first reading. With the current repeal in women’s rights across the world, particularly regarding the overturning of Roe v Wade in America, this story, with its themes of stolen motherhood and unaccounted sexual abuse, feels more important than ever. The opportunity to shoot in the Arctic, on the frontline of the most urgent threat to our world and on the verge of irredeemable transformation, will lend the story another layer of devastation. Just like the icecaps that melt to reveal ancient histories, Stone Mattress sees years of Verna’s pain and fury thaw before our eyes to expose the raw emotion underneath.”
If all goes well, Stone Mattress will be fittingly filmed on location in Greenland and Iceland with a production start date some time in September.