Posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 by Angie Han
It’s been months since Black Swan co-writer Mark Heyman began shopping his upscale thriller XOXO, but the project has finally found a home at Lionsgate. After months of negotiation, the studio has just finalized a deal to acquire Heyman’s spec script, described as “Fatal Attraction for the digital age.” As previously reported, Darren Aronofsky and Michael London (Sideways) are set to produce, along with Kelly Mullen. More details after the jump.
XOXO centers around a young up-and-coming who indulges in online flirtation despite being engaged to be married. He meets an attractive woman on Facebook, but their digital relationship proves to have deadly real-world consequences when she begins stalking him. XOXO will incorporate stylized visual sequences to show the characters interacting, as well as streaming video and other social media platforms. It’s unclear at this point what those scenes will look like, exactly, but they’re bound to be more interesting than just watching the characters sitting at their computers. Variety likens the script to Lionsgate’s Hard Candy, which also dealt with digital identities; when the project was initially announced it also drew plenty of comparisons to last year’s Catfish.
Heyman’s first feature screenplay, Black Swan, was a huge critical and commercial hit, earning a Best Picture nod and grossing $329 million worldwide. While Heyman can’t take sole credit for writing the script — Andrés Heinz and John McLaughlin were also co-writers on the project — it’s certainly an auspicious start for any screenwriting career. Since the success of Black Swan, Heyman has been associated with a couple of other films, including Marc Webb’s Age of Rage and Aronofsky’s Machine Man, but neither project is very far along at this point.
No director or cast has been announced for XOXO at this time. The “elevated genre tale” will be Heyman’s fourth collaboration with Aronofsky — in addition to writing Black Swan and Machine Man, Heyman also co-produced the filmmaker’s 2008 drama The Wrestler.