Worthington Enters The Keeping Room

Daniel Barber's Civil War drama

With Clash and Wrath Of The Titans, Avatar and its future sequels, and his recent work with Arnold Schwarzenegger on the action thriller Ten, it's fair to say that Sam Worthington gravitates towards big, blockbuster-type projects. But there's at least one smaller-scale indie flick on the horizon for the Aussie actor, in the form of American Civil War drama The Keeping Room. He's just signed up for the film which will co-star Brit Marling (Another Earth) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit). Daniel Barber (Harry Brown) is the director.

The story takes place towards the end of the North vs. South conflict. Worthington plays a Union soldier who has become separated from his unit, and finds his way to a commune of women who are fending for themselves while the men are off whistling Dixie (or Battle Cry Of Freedom, depending on preference).

This all sounds very familiar. In fact, Deadline's superficial synopsis is almost identical to the set up of Don Siegel's gothic The Beguiled, in which Clint Eastwood played a soldier (Confederate in this case) in the dying days of the war, separated from his unit, and taken in by the girls and teachers of an all-female boarding school. You may think that sounds like a lucky break for Clint, but it doesn't go so well for him after that.

"Superficial" is perhaps the key word there, however: we won't know if the films are actually that similar until The Keeping Room opens. Previous reports have described the women fighting to defend their refuge from a band of rogue soldiers, so we might be looking at more of a Straw Dogs-type siege movie, with Worthington as a villain or an advisor helping the ladies out. Jordan Horowitz of producers Gilbert Films has called it "cinematic, thrilling and dangerous." If The Keeping Room is anything like The Seasoning House, Sam's in for an even rougher time than Clint.

Julia Hart wrote the screenplay, and shooting starts in June.