Pop 1280

Yorgos Lanthimos, the Greek director whose dark and hilarious period piece The Favourite is currently nominated for 10 Academy Awards, has found his next movie.

Lanthimos will direct Pop. 1280, a film adaptation of author Jim Thompson‘s celebrated 1964 novel of the same name. Read on for details about the story, and why Lanthimos seems like a strong fit for this material.

Deadline reports that Lanthimos will direct Pop. 1280 and also write the screenplay, which is based on one of Thompson’s most acclaimed crime novels. The filmmaker has apparently been a fan of the book for a long time, so this seems like a passion project in the making.

The story centers on Nick Corey, the seemingly harmless sheriff of a small town – but Corey is actually a savvy psychopath who manipulates everyone around him to get away with murder and win the next election. The book is described as one of Thompson’s most overtly political tales, and it seems to fall squarely within Lanthimos’s wheelhouse: The Favourite is also about manipulative people vying for political power. The Lobster, my second-favorite Lanthimos film, also has a largely nihilistic view of the world and a streak of political commentary, so I’m excited to see what he does with an adaptation of Thompson’s book, which Deadline calls a “nasty romp.”

A seemingly-simple sheriff who’s hiding his true psychopathic nature is an idea that’s appeared elsewhere in Thompson’s body of work: it’s at the center of his most famous novel, The Killer Inside Me, which was twice adapted into movies, one starring Stacy Keach in 1976 and one starring Casey Affleck in 2010. In addition to being a novelist, Thompson himself worked in Hollywood, collaborating with Stanley Kubrick on the scripts for The Killing and Paths of Glory. Several of his other books were eventually adapted into movies, with The Getaway, The Kill-Off, and The Grifters among them. Pop. 1280 was even adapted into a French film in 1981 called Coup de Torchon.

Lanthimos is nominated for Best Director at this weekend’s Oscars, where The Favourite is a contender for Best Picture. In the past, he’s been nominated for Best Original Screenplay for The Lobster, and Dogtooth was nominated for Best Foreign Film. Pop. 1280 is considered a “high priority,” but we’re still waiting to find out when filming will begin. Lanthimos, Andrew Lowe, Ed Guiney, Ryan Friedkin, and John Alan Simon are on board as producers.

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