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Sean Durkin

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on: May 24, 2012, 02:07:26 PM
'Martha Marcy' Director Sean Durkin To Remake 'The Exorcist' As 10-Part TV Series
via The Playlist

Vulture reports that "Martha Marcy May Marlene" director Sean Durkin will get his Hollywood feet wet with a ten-part television adaptation of the iconic horror movie classic for Morgan Creek. Producer Roy Lee ("The Grudge," "The Departed," "The Eye" and upcoming "Oldboy") is on board to help steer the ship, in the tale that will explore the events that lead up to the possession before Father Damian Karras (played by Jason Miller in Friedkin's film) is called in.


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Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 08:37:27 PM
The big question is, will they have song rights, or are they going the Jackie Jormp-Jomp route with it?
My house, my rules, my coffee


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Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 11:51:18 AM
I saw MMMM this week and liked it very much. What's so interesting about it is the way he plays with both his character's perception of reality and our perception of the movie. You know it's great filmmaking when someone uses simple edits and framing to make the viewer uncomfortable. "Wait! It's a different scene. Someone's behind her. Is it her sister? Is it one of the cult people?" And such a great ending. I was afraid of watching this earlier because even though I liked the trailers and what I'd read about it, for some reason I thought it was going to be like The Tracey Fragments or something. Artsy fartsy crap with a great performance by a young actress. But it was so much more. And it actually had something to say, even with such an enigmatic character. Mr. Durkin, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention (I know, I'm quoting a damn trailer... too much time frying my brain waiting for video to render  :yabbse-undecided:)


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Reply #3 on: October 10, 2014, 04:07:17 PM
'Little House on the Prairie' Movie Lands Director
via The Hollywood Reporter

Sean Durkin, the filmmaker behind Martha Marcy May Marlene, is now tackling a different sort of family drama and is in negotiations to direct Sony's adaptation of Little House on the Prairie.

Prairie is best known as the iconic TV series that aired on NBC from 1974 to 1983 and starred Michael Landon as the patriarch of a pioneer family living in the 1880s in the American Midwest.

The show was known for is wholesome values and was loosely based on a series of children's books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who based it on her childhood. (Melissa Gilbert played Laura Wilder on the show.)

Scott Rudin is producing the feature project, which has a script by Abi Morgan.

David Gordon Green was previously on board to direct.

Sony had no comment.

Durkin's Martha Marcy was a well-reviewed psychological drama that starred Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes, and told of a young woman who tries in vain to reintegrate into the family life of her sister after escaping from a cult.

Durkin is repped by UTA.


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Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 10:12:13 PM
Michelle Williams To Star In ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ Director Sean Durkin’s Long Developing Janis Joplin Biopic
via The Playlist

Hollywood has long been trying to bring the life story of Janis Joplin to the big screen, with actresses as varied as Pink, Zooey Deschanel, and Renee Zellweger all named as potential players to take on the part of the rock ‘n roll icon. The most interesting movie that never happened would’ve seen Fernando Meirelles direct Amy Adams as the legendary musician, but it too never managed to get in front of the camera. Quite a few years ago, another project was announced, one that would see “Martha Marcy May Marlene” helmer Sean Durkin direct stage star and actress Nina Arianda in a movie about Janis Joplin, with a planned production start of spring 2013. As you might guess, it also never got out of the gate. But the movie is still alive, with a compelling new actress slotted to lead.

Michelle Williams is the latest to want to get wild, entering early negotiations to star in Durkin’s “Joplin.” The movie will be based on the book “Love, Janis” and perhaps mostly importantly, retains the involvement of producer Peter Newman (“The Squid And The Whale,” “Blue In The Face“) who has the rights to the songs by Joplin and her band Big Brother And The Holding Company, the David Dalton biography “Piece Of My Heart,” plus hours of interviews and three of her appearances on “The Dick Cavett Show.”

As we’ve learned in the past, it’s best not to get your hopes up just yet, and this project is still a way off, with Williams shooting “The Greatest Showman On Earth” with Hugh Jackman next.


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Reply #5 on: January 22, 2020, 04:54:48 PM
‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ Director Sean Durkin Sets Von Erich Wrestling Family Saga
via The Playlist

One of the more exciting films that’ll debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year is “The Nest,” the sophomore feature from Sean Durkin, who made a splash at the same festival in 2011 with “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” one of the most riveting and assured debut features in recent memory. Thankfully, Durkin is already setting up his next feature, and this new film focuses on the fascinating, uniquely tragic story of the Von Erich wrestling family.

“I’m very excited about this one,” Durkin told Deadline about the film (which will be produced by Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell, along with BBC Films.). “It’s another family portrait, about a wrestling family who revolutionized the sport and then suffered tragedy.” If you don’t know about the Von Erich family, we suggest the amazing “The Last of the Von Erichs” episode of Viceland documentary series “Dark Side of the Ring,” but the gist of it is that they were a family of wrestlers who appeared in national and local leagues in the 1960s and ‘70s and are under a suggested “curse” that saw the family patriarch Fritz outlive five of his six sons. 


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Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 10:47:35 PM
Sean Durkin On The Nine-Year Journey From ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ To New Sundance Pic ‘The Nest’
via Deadline

Sean Durkin is back with his second feature after a nine-year gap since the critically-acclaimed Martha Marcy May Marlene, which starred Elizabeth Olsen as a cult escapee and debuted at Sundance in 2011.

His new movie, The Nest, is a drama with Jude Law and Carrie Coon playing a couple who relocate their family from the U.S. to the UK as Law’s character chases career opportunities. It’s set against the backdrop of the deregulation of the English financial system in the 1980s (the Big Bang), which, while prompting a boom in the market, also had a long-term impact on the country’s culture.

The film premieres in Sundance on Sunday, January 26, where FilmNation is handling sales. On the eve of the premiere we caught up with Durkin for an exclusive pre-fest chat about his long wait between features, why he was keen to tackle a more conventional drama, and why his Janis Joplin project won’t be moving forward.

DEADLINE: This is your return to directing features after a nine-year gap since Martha Marcy May Marlene. You’ve made us wait! What took so long?

SEAN DURKIN: I started writing this one in 2014, there was a long script process, but I was also working on other things that didn’t pan out. I took the time to nurture The Nest, to wait for the right moment to make it.

DEADLINE: You mentioned projects that “didn’t pan out”, what happened?

DURKIN: I had a few projects that didn’t happen for various reasons. I worked on a version of Little House On The Prairie [with Abi Morgan, Scott Rubin and Sony] for a long time that didn’t pan out. I also spent a lot of time trying to get a film about Janis Joplin made [the long-gestating project had Michelle Williams attached to play the ’60s musician]. That film came with a lot of baggage. After years of trying to work with the producers, we couldn’t get on the same page. It’s not happening anymore.

DEADLINE: In essence, The Nest is a fairly conventional family drama, albeit an intense study of the characters within that setup. In a time when those types of movies aren’t particularly in vogue, why did you go down that route?

DURKIN: Absolutely right. It’s very hard [to make a good family drama], I think. When I made Martha, I wasn’t sure why I was drawn to making a film about a cult, but I understand that a lot more now. It’s in the difference between the family we come from and the family we create. It started with a simple idea about making a naturalistic movie about a cult – that also felt like a challenge at the time.

It was similar with The Nest. It felt like you don’t often see a family drama that just focuses on a moment in time, they’re few and far between and it feels like there should be more of them. There’s rich territory in the details of family, the dynamics. I wanted to dig into a marriage that is very rounded, a couple that are attracted to each other, they fight, they’re in love, they’re complete and complicated. I wanted to bring up everything that was under the surface of a family dynamic and relationship.

DEADLINE: I hear the film was inspired by your own experience?

DURKIN: As a kid I moved between the U.S. and England. I remember the stark contrast and feel between the two places, it was really imprinted on me. I always felt that change [in cultures] would provide a haunting background for a movie.

DEADLINE: How much do you think the movie mirrors the modern day relationship between the UK and U.S.?

DURKIN: I was very conscious of that when writing. Between 2012 and 2017 I was between the two countries non-stop, and thought a lot about the differences between the places then, and also when I was a kid. I’ve thought a lot about when the merging of our two cultures happened, I did a lot of research and traced it back to this moment in 1986 (the Big Bang), that was a huge transitional moment.

DEADLINE: Not only does it feel relevant in Brexit Britain, where the UK is trying to cosy up with the U.S. as much as possible, but it’s also interesting from a film industry point of view. There’s an enormous amount of production coming to UK shores and a lot of the money comes from big U.S. companies…

DURKIN: It’s a good point, I actually hadn’t thought about that. I’ve made my last two projects in England and haven’t shot in the U.S. in a very long time – the UK is a great place to make a movie.

DEADLINE: You’ve got quite a mix of producers involved, how did everyone come onto the project?

DURKIN: It was late 2017 and I had the script but hadn’t worked on it for a year, I was having a conversation with Rose [Garnett, BBC Films] and I’m not sure what happened but we decided to do it right away. We got Element Pictures [Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe] involved and showed it to FilmNation, started building it piece by piece. It was an incredible team. Derrin Schlesinger had been my producer on Southcliffe [the miniseries that he directed in 2013] and stayed involved in my work, she’d also been involved in development. Amy Jackson [former See-Saw exec] got involved right at the beginning of production to be the on-set, day-to-day producer. We found a window in the summer/fall of 2018 to shoot.

DEADLINE: The film is structured as a UK-Canada co-pro, was that complicated to set up?

DURKIN: Element had done that before [on Room] and suggested it. It made sense.

DEADLINE: You attracted a very cool cast – Jude Law and Carrie Coon – how did you get them?

DURKIN: Carrie I met a couple of times, she loved the script and that was a relatively simple conversation. With Jude it wasn’t dissimilar. I sent him the script, we met, we were on the same page about the character. As a filmmaker you get your work turned down all the time by actors, but luckily he responded the way he did and fully committed to the process.

DEADLINE: Law’s character is complex. He’s very charming and at times you react very positively to him, but then at other times it feels like he’s drawing the wool over your eyes and has a sinister side. He’s an interesting character for the #MeToo era…

DURKIN: The film looks at masculinity, gender roles, family structure. I wanted the character to be influenced by the values of the society around him, and those that were passed down to him. At the beginning of the film they’re a non-traditional couple, he works from home and does the school run, and then they flip into more traditional roles. I like characters that are many things, he’s ambitious and has great ideas, but he doesn’t know how to make them happen. He’s looking to chase the American dream and bring that home to the UK, but what is the life he’s chasing? Where does his absolution come from?

DEADLINE: You’ve done a fair bit of producing work too.

DURKIN: It looks like I’ve done a lot of producing but I really haven’t. I’ve spent most of my time writing scripts, I’ve got a lot of projects in development. A lot of the producing credits came from my previous company BorderLine Films [set up with Christine director Antonio Campos and James White director Josh Mond after they met in film school], they were advisory roles. We broke it up a few years ago, we had achieved our initial goal and we got older and started going in different directions creatively, we had different ideas from each other.

DEADLINE: What’s coming up for you?

DURKIN: I’m very excited about my next one. It’s another family portrait, about a wrestling family called the Von Erichs. They revolutionized wrestling in the late 1970s/early 80s, and suffered family tragedy. It’s about their rise and fall. I’m doing that with Tessa Ross and also Rose at the BBC.


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Reply #7 on: March 12, 2020, 05:44:08 PM
IFC Films Picks Up Jude Law, Carrie Coon Sundance Drama ‘The Nest’
via Deadline

IFC Films has secured the U.S. rights to Sean Durkin’s The Nest, the period drama, which premiered at Sundance, starring Jude Law, Carrie Coon, Charlie Shotwell, and Oona Roche. The film, Durkin’s first following his 2011 film, Martha Marcy May Marlene, will be released in theaters sometime this fall.