Since the release of 1997’s Henry Fool, writer/director Hal Hartley has slowly been putting the pieces of a trilogy together, with the next entry, Fay Grim, arriving in 2006. 2015 should usher in the final part, with Aubrey Plaza lined up to star in Ned Rifle.
In the original Henry Fool, James Urbaniak’s Simon Grim creates an epic poem in blank verse, which wins accolades and sparks controversy, thanks to its pornographic content. Henry (Thomas Jay Ryan), meanwhile, ditches his own writing ambitions and takes over Grim’s job as a binman to support his family. In Fay Grim, the title character (played by Parker Posey) embarks on a dangerous mission to find the notebooks that belonged to her now-missing husband Henry.
With Ned Rifle, the story’s focus switches to Henry and Fay's son, Ned (Liam Aiken) as he turns 18 and leaves the witness protection program, where he’d lived under the surname Rifle. His mother has spent the last four years in military custody for alleged terrorist activities and is transferred to a federal penitentiary to serve a life sentence. Ned, who has absorbed the Christianity of the well-adjusted and devout family he has been living with, sets out to find and kill his dad for the mess the man has made of Fay's life. But his aims are frustrated by the brilliant, sexy and troubled Susan (Plaza), whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family.
Hartley launched a Kickstarter appeal to drum up the funds needed to make the film, and is now set to start the cameras rolling next month in New York with Martin Donovan, Karen Sillas, Robert John Burke and William Sage also in the cast.