Jane Campion to direct ‘The Power of the Dog,’ starring Elisabeth Moss and Benedict Cumberbatch

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Elisabeth Moss. NBC photo

Oscar winner Jane Campion and two-time Golden Globe winner Elisabeth Moss will reunite in the new film, “The Power of the Dog,” reports Variety.

Moss and Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch will star in the film, an adaptation of the Thomas Savage novel.

Campion will direct from a script she adapted, with See-Saw Films’ in-house sales arm, Cross City Films, The movie will go into pre-production at the end of the year.

The book tells the story of wealthy Montana brothers Phil (Cumberbatch) and George Burbank. Phil is brilliant and cruel, while George is fastidious and gentle. Together, they are joint owners of the biggest ranch in their Montana valley. When George secretly marries local widow Rose (Moss), an angry Phil wages a relentless war to destroy her by using her son Peter as a pawn.

“‘The Power of the Dog’ is a sublime novel that deserves a life on the big screen. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story, it really haunted me. The themes of masculinity, nostalgia and betrayal are an intoxicating mix,” Campion said.

“It’s also rare to find a story where the themes, the plot and the characters build tension as they reveal each other and even the end is satisfying and unexpected. It will be the first time I’ve worked with a male lead, which is exciting. Phil is a charismatic and complex character who declares war on his brother’s new wife and her teenage son.”

Campion won the Academy Award for screenplay for “The Piano,” for which she also became the first, and to date only, female director to be awarded the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or. Her limited television series “Top of the Lake” won the 2013 Emmy for cinematography for a miniseries or movie, as well as the 2014 Golden Globe for an actress in a miniseries or movie for Moss. Campion created, co-wrote and directed the follow-up, “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” which was one of the first TV series ever to be included in the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection.

“The Power of the Dog” is Campion’s first project since 2017’s “China Girl” and her first feature film since 2009’s biographical romantic drama “Bright Star.”

Moss was most recently seen in Jordan Peele’s hit horror film “Us,” which has grossed more than $250 million at the worldwide box office. She’s starring in the rock drama “Her Smell” and also has the crime drama “The Kitchen” bowing later this year. She is also returning for the third season of the Emmy-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which premieres this summer, and also signed on to star in “The Invisible Man” reboot.

Cumberbatch recently starred as Doctor Strange in the record-setting Marvel blockbusters “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” along with lending his voice to the title character in animated holiday hit “The Grinch.” On the TV side, he starred in HBO’s “Brexit” and also has the Amazon series “Good Omens.” He just finished filming Sam Mendes’ World War I film “1917” and is also attached to star in the sequel to Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”




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