Hollywood actor Michael Shannon to make directorial debut with adaptation of play 'Eric Larue'

Washington, D.C., USAUpdated: Jul 06, 2022, 02:40 PM IST
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‘Eric Larue’ movie is based on the Brett Neveu play that debuted in 2002 at the Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago, where Michael Shannon is a founding member. 

Hollywood actor Michael Shannon is ready to make his directorial debut with ‘Eric Larue’. ‘Eric Larue’ movie is based on the Brett Neveu play that debuted in 2002 at the Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago, where Shannon is a founding member. He will be directing by adapting Neveu’s script, as per Deadline. Reportedly, the film has been scheduled to be shot in Arkansas. 

But since the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade triggered that state’s Act 180 of 2019, which bans nearly all forms of abortion, such as cases of rape and incest, Hollywood filmmakers have withdrawn from shooting in Arkansas and now will be shooting in and around Wilmington, NC.

For Neveu, the origin of ‘Eric Larue’ as a play was in response to the mass shooting in 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado. The play premiered at the Red Orchid in 2002. Almost 15 years after its debut, Shannon was directing the play ‘Traitor’, which is a new way of telling Neveu's' ‘An Enemy of the People’. When a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, those shootings led to Neveu adapting his original play into the feature film that Shannon will direct. The film follows Janice, the mother of 17-year-old Eric, who shot and killed three of his classmates. 

As Janice faces a meeting with 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. 

According to Deadline, Shannon said, "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." 

"Like most great stories, Eric Larue plays at the macro and 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 continued. 

"I find it interesting," he added, "to align with artists possessing the most vivid imaginations, the most stringent yet empathetic senses of morality, and the most passionate and rigorous disciplines to create worlds and stories that contribute to our experience and understanding of what it is to be a human being in this day and age and, particularly, this country," he added.