Just days before filming was to begin in Spain, production was halted on Oscar-winning “Cold War” and “Ida” director Pawel Pawlikowski’s new film “The Island” back in May.

Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix and Oscar nominee Rooney Mara were set to star in the project with the looming threat of the SAG-AFTRA strike leading to bond companies unable to insure the project.

In August, Pawlikowski tried to revive the project, but Phoenix’s availability post-strike is booked solid, including Ari Aster’s next film “Eddington,” a Todd Haynes drama, and his”Joker: Folie a Deux” press commitments made it look unlikely.

Cut to this week and now cinematographer Lukasz Zal indicates that the film is in peril due to financing. He tells The Film Stage (via World of Reel):

“It was just two-and-a-half weeks before shooting. And then, you know, we lost a lot of money because our production designer built a lot of roads because everything was very hard-to-access terrain.

So he built little roads, gates, bridges. So that’s a huge amount of people working on that. And then on a Friday the co-production called and said, ‘We have to stop immediately’.

They lost so much money and now we don’t have this money, basically. It’s a black-and-white film as well, so it’ll be hard to find this money now. It’s terrible because it’s an amazing story, a beautiful script.”

“The Island” was to have been a true story-inspired tale about an American couple in the 1930s who escape to a deserted island where they live off the land.

A millionaire passing by on his yacht turns the couple into a tabloid newspaper sensation, leading to a self-styled countess appearing with two lovers and planning to build a luxury hotel on the island.

As battle lines are quickly drawn, psychological warfare ensues between the countess and the American couple as sexual infidelity, betrayal and eventually murder take place among the island interlopers.

The post Phoenix & Mara-Led “Island” In Peril? appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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