The first official trailer for the psychological thriller The Gift has surfaced, and the midtown suburban paradise of yet another happily married couple is about to dissolve into horrific chaos.
Starring Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Arrested Development), Rebecca Hall (Transcendence, The Town), and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Exodus: Gods and Kings), the upcoming movie tells of married couple Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall), who are settling into the rhythm of straight-laced adulthood rather well: they own a lovable dog, expect a baby on the way, and finished purchasing a new house. But when Simon’s old (and allegedly un-remembered) “friend” Gordo (Edgerton) begins creeping into their lives, they are forced to face Simon’s jaded past against increasingly threatening circumstances.
The Gift, due in theaters on July 31st, is written and directed by Edgerton, marking this as his feature-length directorial debut; the Australian actor wrote and directed two short films prior to this, The List (2008) and Monkeys (2011). This is the first time Edgerton will also act in his own screenplay as well.
Bateman, who performed with Edgerton in Smokin’ Aces (2006) way back when, hasn’t starred in a proper thriller since his 2012 drama Disconnect; what’s more, he hasn’t put a mystery/horror piece in his resume since State of Play (2009). With a career in comedy only occasionally punctuated by dramas, The Gift is a unique choice for the actor.
Hall, on the other hand, is better associated with the dramatic genre, having been nominated for multiple awards for films such as The Prestige (2006), Parade’s End (2010), Red Riding (2009), and Please Give (2012). Hall won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in Red Riding, and her most recent work includes the short drama Ruminate, the historical romance A Promise, and the mystery/thriller Closed Circuit.
In an older interview, Edgerton explains how “it’s great to have [the] opportunity” to write and direct his own movies, quoting:
I want to write characters that I want to play. I want to direct. I want to do a lot of stuff. I just don’t want to do crap movies, man, because I just love that I can get up and talk about them, and talk to journalists about stuff that I’m really proud of.