Previously, Phoenix has worked with Shyamalan on two films, Signs (2002) and The Village (2004) – providing two of the biggest box office hits in their respective careers. At this point, details about the project are not known other than the film will include the classic Shyamalan staple: a supernatural element.
For Shyamalan, The Village was the last commercial success he had before his career took a turn for the worse, in particular his last two projects The Last Airbender and After Earth were reviled by critics and box office flops. His next film, The Visit, seems to have ditched the big budget Hollywood spectacle and adopts a stripped down found footage approach with a intriguing storyline: when visiting grandma’s house, don’t leave your room after 9:30 PM (or else). The Visit stars Kathryn Hahn (She’s Funny That Way) and opens in theaters on September 11, 2015.
Phoenix has been known for being picky with his roles and usually takes parts in smaller films. He was last seen onscreen in Woody Allen‘s Irrational Man and before that in Paul Thomas Anderson’s star-studded Inherent Vice. He was recently nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his acclaimed performance in the technology romance Her (2013), directed by Spike Jonze.
The untitled project, set to possibly begin shooting this November in Philadelphia, is being produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Pictures. Blum also produced Shyamalan’s The Visit. Blum’s last release was the Joel Edgerton thriller The Gift, which has amassed strong reviews and decent box office numbers since opening earlier this month. Given the connection to Blumhouse Pictures, Shyamalan’s next project may tend to lean towards the smaller scale budget as well. Marc Beinstock will also serve as producer while Ashwin Rajan and Steve Schneider will be on board as executive producers.
The release date of the untitled project has not been announced yet.