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Cold War director teams up with Hollywood A-listers for new blockbuster

Joining forces with megastars Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, the new thriller entitled The Island stands to cement Paweł Pawlikowski’s soaring reputation as one of cinema’s great talents.

News that Paweł Pawlikowski is to join forces with Hollywood megastars Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara on his next project has been greeted with enthusiasm by the world’s entertainment press.

Written and directed by Pawlikowski, the thriller has been given the working title of The Island and purportedly takes its inspiration from a true story.

Set in the 1930s, it follows an attractive American couple who turn their backs on their daily grind to instead start life anew on an isolated island.JIM RUYMEN/Newscom/PAP

Set in the 1930s, it follows an attractive American couple who turn their backs on their daily grind to instead start life anew on an isolated island.

Building their own private paradise, their happiness is disrupted after their story is leaked by a millionaire passing on his yacht.

Written and directed by Pawlikowski, the thriller has been given the working title of The Island and purportedly takes its inspiration from a true story.Depo Photos/ABACA/PAP

Inadvertently becoming a media sensation, their lives are turned upside down when an eccentric, self-proclaimed countess arrives with her lovers and armed with the intention of building a luxury hotel on the couple’s slice of Eden.

According to the official press release, “as battle lines are quickly drawn, psychological warfare ensues between the countess and the American couple as sexual infidelity, betrayal and eventually murder takes place among the island interlopers.”

The film stands to cement Pawlikowski’s soaring reputation as one of cinema’s great talents.

First making a name for himself with his documentaries in the 1980s and 90s, the Warsaw-born Pawlikowski transitioned into the world of fictional films in the late 90s.Bartłomiej Zborowski/PAP

Having first carved a name for his documentaries in the 1980s and 90s, the Warsaw-born auteur transitioned into the world of fictional films in the late 90s.

Last Resort (2001) and My Summer of Love (2004) both scooped prestigious BAFTA awards, whilst in 2015 he became the first Pole to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film (Ida).

More recently, Cold War, starring Tomasz Kot, Joanna Kulig and Borys Szyc, won a string of accolades and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Pawlikowski’s Cold War, starring Tomasz Kot, Joanna Kulig and Borys Szyc, won a string of accolades and was nominated for three Academy Awards.Press materials

Formally announced late last night, this latest project has swept the internet with Glen Basner, CEO of FilmNation, stating: “Paweł Pawlikowski is one of the world’s greatest filmmakers working today. Pawel bringing this story of jealousy, betrayal and murder in a Garden of Eden is exactly what we all need to drive audiences back to the cinema.”

Slated to act as co-producer, Tanya Seghatchian added: “Paweł is the master of strong drama and he’s unmatched at creating attractive but emotionally complex characters whose reach often exceeds their grasp — especially in matters of the heart.

“In ‘The Island,’ power struggles and love and death will all be amplified by Paweł’s cinematic style, which will integrate the savage beauty of nature on this deserted island into the story. With a brilliant cast this murder-mystery, set in an epic landscape, will feel timeless — but its themes are contemporary, universal and highly relatable,” she continued.

Slated to act as co-producer, Tanya Seghatchian said: “Paweł is the master of strong drama and he’s unmatched at creating attractive but emotionally complex characters whose reach often exceeds their grasp — especially in matters of the heart.Marechal Aurore/ABACA/PAP

Uniting some of the biggest names in world cinema, film buffs have also been left relishing the mouthwatering prospect of seeing Mara and Phoenix perform together.

Previously jointly starring in Mary Magdalene (2018), the real-life couple are commonly cited among the greatest actors of the 21st century.

As things stand, shooting for the film is scheduled to begin next year.


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