Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence is exercising her acting chops in the juicy crime thriller Serena. Lawrence partners once again with her Silver Linings Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper, together playing another dysfunctional couple. This time they are a pair of ruthless timber barons exploiting their land before the government steps in and claims it for a National Park.
Lawrence’s character is so dark, Screenrant likens it to Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), in There Will Be Blood.
The story begins in the late 1920′s, Depression era, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton are traveling from Boston to North Carolina to seize control of the thriving Pemberton lumber empire. Serena adapts quickly (no fair maiden here), and proves to be an adept boss and businesswoman. She can hire, fire and cut a tree down simultaneously. Life is grand, until the Pemberton’s learn that Serena is unable to ever bear children. The sky turns gray, and the happy couple sour, leaving George looking to his illegitimate son (conceived prior to his marriage), as the heir to his fortune. Now we begin to learn why this is called a crime/thriller.
The script by Christopher Kyle (K-19:The Widowmaker, Alexander) is an adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy-style historical novel Serena, written by Ron Rash (The World Made Straight, The Cove), that landed on the 2010 Black List.
Danish director Susaane Bier seems like a good choice for steering this project. She has a reputation for excelling at brooding dramas (Things We Lost in the Fire, and the Oscar winning foreign film, In A Better World).
Rhys Infans (Notting Hill), and Toby Jones (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), also star.
Studio Canal will produce along with Neck Wechsler, Ben Cosgrove, Mark Cuban, Steve Schwartz, and Todd Wagner.
Serena opens in theaters September 27, 2013.