Pawel Pawlikowski’s The Island scrapped on eve of production

Pawel Pawlikowski, director of The Island
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Period drama The Island – which was set to star Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara – has been indefinitely suspended due to strike fears.

Here’s a story which could become a harbinger of things to come. Pawel Pawlikowski’s The Island was set to shoot this week and it sounded like a true corker of a film from the director who bought us Cold War and Ida. Real-life couple Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara were set to star in a period drama about a couple who live alone on a remote island until a millionaire and their two lovers arrive, planning to build a luxury hotel. Sexual infidelity, betrayal and eventually murder follow in a story which now may never be told as just days before shooting was set to begin in Spain, the production has shut down.

According to Deadlinefears over a potential upcoming strike by the Screen Actors Guild has spooked insurers and as an independent production, the project doesn’t have the kind of deep pockets required to take on the financial risk.

Given that the writers’ strike has been going on for several weeks at this point, this isn’t the first production freeze we’ve heard of so far, but it is one of the first shutdowns we’ve seen to hit an independent production. Which seems like a real shame as smaller indie producers aren’t part of the AMPTP, the producers alliance that is in dispute with writers, and perhaps soon, actors and directors.

Unfortunately, the production of The Island seems to have been caught in the crossfire and with the threat of industrial action looming from both actors and directors, more and more productions are going to be facing this challenge.

Perhaps the film can get underway when deals are eventually done but considering the demanding schedules of Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, that might be impossible. We’ll bring you more on the wider story regarding strikes and shutdowns as it develops.

Image: BigStock

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