Frances McDormand will play a grieving mother confronting police brutality in Martin McDonagh’s next film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.McDonagh, best known for writing and directing In Bruges, announced McDormand’s involvement while speaking with The Guardian about his new play, Hangmen, which opens in London this week.
In the interview, McDonagh explained the plot, with McDormand’s character standing squarely at its center.
It’s about a 50-year-old woman whose daughter is murdered and she goes to war with the police in her home town…because she thinks they are more interested in torturing black people than getting justice.
According to McDonagh it is only by coincidence that the film is incredibly topical; he said he wrote the script four years ago.
McDonagh, more a playwright than a screenwriter, said he jumped into the director’s chair when he transitioned to film in order to protect the integrity of his scripts. Apparently his first films’ publisher, Focus Features, were too hands-on for his taste.
“I had to deal with them [Focus Films] trying to change anything they could change,” McDonagh told The Guardian. “And Focus are supposed to be supportive, indie-filmmaker-friendly people. Scumbags. It was constant war, but they never won.”
That directorial protectiveness may have followed him back to his stagecraft as McDonagh attended all of the rehearsals for Hangmen, which he wrote, but did not direct. His behavior may make him sound overbearing, but the play’s director, Matthew Dunster, described McDonagh as “respectful and supportive” during rehearsals.
According to Indiewire, production on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has not begun, but the film is on track to hit theaters in late 2016 or early 2017.