Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, and Anne Hathaway have signed on to join Cate Blanchett in James Gray’s drama Armageddon Time.
The star-studded cast, which also includes Donald Sutherland, will appear in the filmmaker’s next outing, which he is directing from his own script. Based on his own childhood memories, the coming-of-age story explores friendship and loyalty against the backdrop of an America poised to elect Ronald Reagan as president.
Armageddon Time is very different from Gray’s recent projects, such as Ad Astra and The Lost City of Z, and in an interview with Deadline, he explained this was a deliberate decision.
“Every film you make is different, but I’m trying to do something that is the opposite of the vast, lonely and dark void of the movie I just directed,” Gray said. “I’m anxious to make something that is very much about people, about human emotions and interactions between people, and I want it to be filled with warmth and tenderness. In some sense, yes it’s about my childhood, but an illustration of familial love really on every level.”
He noted the film is influenced by his transition from public school to the private Kew-Forest School, which counts U.S. President Donald Trump as a former student, in the Queens borough of New York in 1980s.
“What happened with me, very simply, I got in big trouble when I was around 11, though the boys are 12 in the movie, and the story is about my movement from the public education that I got into private school and a world of privilege. This film is about what that meant for me and how lucky I was, and how unlucky my friend was and about that break meant for me and what it meant for him,” the director revealed.
Gray hopes to shoot in New York as soon as he can following the Covid-19 pandemic.
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