Woody Allen will premiere his latest feature film – Magic in the Moonlight, a romantic comedy set on the French Riviera – this July, but as per usual, the New York-based writer/director has already shifted priorities to his next feature film. News broke Monday that the untitled feature will take place in Rhode Island, a contrast to where Allen’s films are typically set, but marking a return to the east coast.
Allen established himself early on a “New York” filmmaker, setting his early and the most seminal movies of filmography in the Big Apple. For decades, his movies like Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters have even been criticized for their overly romanticized views of the city. The classic 1979 feature Manhattan is nothing if not a primal love letter to Allen’s home. Yet recently, Allen has set his films in a diverse collection of places include France (Midnight in Paris), Spain (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Italy (To Rome With Love) and England (Match Point). Partially this may be borne out of necessity, as Allen is considered a bigger box office draw in Europe than in the United States and a large source of Allen’s funding comes from European outlets.
Allen returned to states last year with the critically respected Blue Jasmine, which filmed in San Francisco and New York – the film went on to become one of the director’s biggest box office hits of the decade and earned leading lady Cate Blanchett an Academy Award.
Little is known about the new film, which will star Emma Stone (in her second outing with the director after Magic in the Moonlight) and Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix (in his first outing with Allen), other than it is a modern story revolving around academics, graduate students and both middle and working class characters. From the briefest of teases, the film will likely feature a large and starry ensemble cast, a norm for the filmmaker. Currently the film doesn’t have a distributor, but it seems likely that Sony Pictures Classics will come aboard eventually as they have a relationship with Allen that extends to his last six features. Filming is expected to start this July, so further casting announcements should be unveiled shortly. A summer 2015 release date is probable.
In the meantime, Magic in the Moonlight hits screens on July 25th. Stone stars alongside Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden and Jacki Weaver.