With The Lobster — the Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz-starring film set in a future where the government turns people into animals if they cannot find a monogamous partner — having been widely praised throughout the festival circuit, director Yorgos Lanthimos, it seems, now has the interest of some of the biggest Hollywood actors.
The Dogtooth writer/director is, according to Deadline, in talks with both Kate Winslet and Emma Stone, as well as Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman, to star in his new film, The Favourite which at first may seem, on the surface, to be a major divergence from what we’ve come to know of his disturbing and strange work:
The Favourite is about the political reign of Queen Anne (who ruled from 1702 until her death in 1714), and the power dynamics between her and two other women close to her. Colman is playing Queen Anne, while Winslet would play the role of the her confidante, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Stone would play Colman’s “impoverished distant relative” Abigail, who comes to court to serve the Queen.
But don’t be fooled by the superficial normalcy of the information that’s been provided — there’s plenty of room for Dogtooth-y psychological, social and body horror within this historical narrative. Any cursory glance at reports on Queen Anne’s history will inform you that the Queen had been pregnant at least seventeen times, and that only one of her children had made it to the age of eleven. Her relationship with Sarah became embittered when it was thought that Abigail and the Queen were having a romantic relationship, that (perhaps out of jealousy of her closeness with Anne being usurped) greatly upset Sarah.