Director Atom Egoyan just premiered his latest project, Devil’s Knot, at TIFF, but it seems a finished movie is a finished movie. Devil’s Knot is expecting a theatrical release sometime next year, but Egoyan has already moved on to putting the final touches on his next project, a thriller starring Ryan Reynolds about how his character and his wife deal with the kidnapping of their only daughter.
The project was produced under the title Queen of the Night but has been rechristened with the shorter and more descriptive The Captive. The pic seems to have shades of Oldboy as seen from the eyes of the victim’s family rather than victim him/herself, inviting many to compare it to the more recent Prisoners. Cass is kidnapped as a child from under father Matthew’s (Reynolds) nose, and eight years later Matthew and his wife Nicole (Rosario Dawson) are still trying to work through the marital stress that’s caused. A police couple played by Scott Speedman (Underworld) and Mireille Enos (World War Z) also figure prominently into the action.
The Captive is still looking for distribution, but despite missteps on R.I.P.D. and The Green Lantern, Reynolds’ name is still a marketable one, and we’re betting it won’t take too long for someone to snatch up the rights.
The released synopsis is below. While it would appear to avoid any true spoilers, it does go into some detail establishing the direction of the story. Probably not anything more than the eventual trailers will give away, but read at your own risk:
MATTHEW is driving his massive logging truck and leaves his precious daughter sleeping as he ducks into roadside washroom. When he returns she is gone.
In the following years, his wife TINA visits the police station where she has formed a relationship with the detective, NICOLE. Each year on CASS’s birthday, NICOLE gives TINA a report on how the search for her missing daughter is going. Lately, the police have identified the girl on the internet, but have had no success in tracking down her physical presence. CASS has aged 8 years since her disappearance. She is being held somewhere, but what is she doing there? The disturbing nature of her “broadcasts” is gradually revealed. Can CASS use these “broadcasts” to her advantage to plan her own escape?
THE CAPTIVE is a drama about how this kidnapping destroys two relationships—that of MATTHEW AND TINA, who blames her husband for all that has happened, as well of that of NICOLE and her co-‐worker JEFFREY. NICOLE AND JEFFREY work intensely with the horrors of internet child abuse crimes from day to day. Surprisingly, they find they have a good relationship despite their horrific work and are attracted to each other. They have a strong connection until the moment when Jeffrey’s obsession with work crosses an ethical line.
Years after the kidnapping, MATTHEW is driving a truckload of nursery trees to a remote destination. On his way, he stops for an overnight stay at a motel. When he wakes the next morning his truck is gone. A single tree is left in its place. In the far distance he sees another stolen tree planted on the side of the road. Approaching it, he sees another and another. The Trees are leading him somewhere. Is this a nightmare, or is he confronting a disturbing dream come true?
The theme of THE CAPTIVE is that great evil will not go unpunished, but the twisting nature of this evil creates an unpredictable and complex story.