Michael Shannon Directing New Drama Eric Larue

Michael Shannon

by James White |
Updated on

He's part of the stacked cast for David O. Russell's Amsterdam (you can find the first trailer here), but Michael Shannon is also planning to step behind the camera for his directorial debut. He's putting together a film adaptation of Brett Neveu's play Eric Larue.

Neveu has adapted his own work for the film, and the story follows Janice, the mother of 17-year-old Eric, who shot and killed three of his classmates. As Janice faces a meeting of the mothers of the other boys, and a long-delayed visit to her son in prison, the story becomes not about the violence but about what we choose to think and do in order to survive trauma.

"Eric Larue has so much to say about our country, about the way we try (sometimes quite ineptly) to deal with the trauma of living here, which is so insidious because it does not present itself overtly in concrete terms most of the time,” Shannon tellsDeadline. "Like most great stories, Eric Larue plays at the macro and a micro level simultaneously. When I read the screenplay, I immediately knew I had to direct it. I saw it. I heard it. I could feel it. And I wanted to make sure that it received just the right touch in all its aspects, because at the end of the day, it is an extraordinarily delicate thing."

Shannon has a history with the playwright and his work – Eric Larue premiered at Chicago's A Red Orchid Theatre in 2002, where Shannon was a co-founder, and has directed a re-imagined version of Neveu's play An Enemy Of The People. Originally written in response to the Columbine school shooting, the film version is being worked up following the Parkland school shooting in Florida.

Next up in acting terms for Shannon is Bullet Train, which will be out on 3 August.

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