Pawel Pawlikowski’s suspended film, The Island still in limbo

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The dramatic thriller The Island was set to star Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara but was suspended due to fears over an actors’ strike. 

Among the first casualties in the ongoing labour dispute between Hollywood studios and creatives was The Island, the planned film by Cold War and Ida director, Pawel Pawlikowski. The film was slated to star Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix before being halted due to fears about the looming actors’ strike.

Spooked bond companies refused to insure the film, meaning production couldn’t go ahead. Of course, SAG-AFTRA, the actors union has now issued many independent projects with exemptions, meaning filming is underway with relative smoothness for the majority of projects that aren’t affiliated with major Hollywood studios.

Sadly, the timing of The Island’s production was highly unfortunate for all involved as it was gearing into production before any of these exemptions had been confirmed and thus, wary insurance companies simply declined to take the risk of the project going into shutdown and them being left to foot the bill.

It’s timing that might also permanently sink the project too. World of Reel is reporting that everybody involved (including financiers) wants to revive the project but scheduling is now an issue, not least for Joaquin Phoenix who has to juggle an untitled Todd Haynes drama and Ari Aster’s Eddington in the pipeline, not to mention the press demands for Joker: Folie a Deux, his upcoming sequel to 2019’s Joker. 

We’re really hoping all involved can find a way to get this made with the original pairing of Phoenix and Mara. The synopsis sounds great and the acting and directing talent on board is sublime. The film is set to be a dramatic thriller which is loosely based on real events. ‘Mara and Phoenix were going to play an American couple in the 1930s who escape to their own private island and live off the land. However, a millionaire disrupts their tranquil lifestyle, as he passes by on his yacht, turning the couple into a tabloid sensation.’

We’ll bring you more on The Island as we hear it. In the meantime we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that the film can find a way forward.

Image: BigStock

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