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Veteran screenwriter and director Paul Schrader (First Reformed, Taxi Driver), who is unveiling his latest feature, The Card Counter, in competition at the Venice International Film Festival this week, has found the leads for his next film.
Joel Edgerton (The Underground Railroad, Loving, The Gift) and Sigourney Weaver (Avatar, Alien) have signed on to co-star in the The Master Gardener.
Edgerton stars as Narvel Roth, the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens, who is as devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate as he is to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill, played by Weaver. When Mrs. Haverhill demands that Roth take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya as a new apprentice, chaos enters his spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.
Like all of his work, the film is based on an original screenplay by Schrader. “When the idea first started, it was one of my male protagonists, but then these two women intervened and it became something more complex and unique,” he said in a statement.
HanWay Films will handle international sales and distribution following its collaboration with Schrader on The Card Counter. The company is co-repping the North American sale with David Gonzales. The casting was unveiled in Venice, but sales are expected to begin at the Toronto Film Festival.
Said Gabrielle Stewart, managing director of HanWay Films: “Paul Schrader is at the top of his form, and HanWay is excited to be collaborating again with one of film’s greatest writer-directors. Master Gardener is the natural successor to the brilliant film The Card Counter, which will have its world premiere tomorrow at the Venice Film Festival. Character-driven, sexy and surprising, with plenty of intrigue one would expect from a Schrader film.”
Edgerton is represented by WME and Anonymous Content. Weaver is repped by UTA, attorney Alan Wertheimer and The Lede Company. Schrader is represented by manager, David Gonzales.
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