We Need to Talk About Kevin and You Were Never Really Here director Lynne Ramsay is set to adapt the Margaret Atwood story Stone Mattress, and has lined up Julianne Moore and Sandra Oh to star. Amazon are already attached to produce and Film 4 and StudioCanal are now in final negotiations, with StudioCanal set to launch sales in Cannes.
The film will shoot in Greenland and Iceland in September.
Produced by John Lesher (Birdman) and JoAnne Sellar (There Will Be Blood), Stone Mattress is described as a captivating revenge thriller set on a cruise ship in the Arctic.
The film follows Verna (Moore), a 60-year-old retired physiotherapist and twice a widow, who embarks on a luxurious cruise into the magnificent and silently thawing Arctic Northwest Passage, populated by a crowd of privileged influencers and wealthy retirees. On the ship, Verna meets the friendly and charming Grace (Oh), and the seemingly ordinary Bob, an unaccompanied man in his mid-sixties who inherited a family business, although he doesn’t have a fraction of Verna’s elegance and wit, Bob tries to seduce her. But he might not be the foolish yet harmless man he initially appears to be, and his presence troubles Verna. As wounds and humiliations from her past resurface, the smooth atmosphere of the cruise will be disturbed by Verna’s quiet, yet shocking act of vengeance.
“I first read Margaret Atwood when I was a teenager, and her work has gripped me ever since. She is simply one of the most intelligent, prophetic and engaging writers around and Stone Mattress is another perfect illustration of that,” said Ramsay. “I was immediately gripped by the way it framed the deeply buried trauma of a post-menopausal woman – an age group we hear from all too rarely – through the dynamic and multifaceted character of Verna. From its tongue-in-cheek humour to its moments of icy vengeance and delicate portrayal of an emotional repression specific to the boomer generation, it is a story I’ve wanted to materialize on-screen since my first
Dylan Weathered (The Pale Blue Eye) and Daniel Lupi (Killers Of The Flower Moon, West Side Story) executive produce.
“With the current repeal in women’s rights across the world, particularly regarding the overturning of Roe v Wade in America, this story, with its themes of stolen motherhood and unaccounted sexual abuse, feels more important than ever,” added Ramsay. “The opportunity to shoot in the Arctic, on the frontline of the most urgent threat to our world and on the verge of irredeemable transformation, will lend the story another layer of devastation. Just like the icecaps that melt to reveal ancient histories, Stone Mattress Sees years of Verna’s pain and fury thaw before our eyes to expose the raw emotion underneath.”