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Taron Egerton has come a long way since he first popped up on my radar as “that punk from Kingsman: The Secret Service.” He certainly does all he’s asked to do in Matthew Vaughn‘s slick spy movies, but it was his turn as Elton John in the wonderful Rocketman that finally showed us the full potential of his charisma and screen presence.

In a good news/bad news double-whammy, it seems that Egerton is adding Claire Denis Cinema™ to his credits, but at the expense of a highly-anticipated Denis reunion with Robert Pattinson. We are, quite frankly, devastated.

In a report from Screen Daily, we learned that Egerton will be filling the Pattinson-shaped hole at the center of Denis’ The Stars at Noon. The film, an adaptation of a 1986 Denis Johnson novel, will be a “love story/thriller” centered on an English businessman (originally Pattinson, now Egerton) and an American journalist (likely the previously-announced Margaret Qualley) set in Nicaragua.

Dashing Our Hopes (No Offense, Taron)

The initial news of Denis reteaming with Pattinson for The Stars at Noon was cause for celebration, a welcome development after Pattinson added 2018’s High Life to his distinctive résumé; a tense and at times bizarre psychological thriller about inhabitants of a spaceship trying to survive. In classic Denis fashion, there’s plenty of death, eroticism, and you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it moments that will make it stick in your memory long afterward, and Pattinson commits to the role in an effortless performance.

It was exciting to think that Denis and Pattinson would be joining forces again for such a wildly different story but, alas, it was not meant to be. Screen Daily suggests that scheduling issues as a result of Pattinson’s commitments to the press tour for The Batman may be responsible for the change. In any case, Egerton getting Denis’ endorsement speaks volumes and we’ll try to be adults about this as unexpected developments are an unavoidable part of life.

For a taste of what to expect with The Stars at Noon (tentatively scheduled for a 2022 release), here’s the synopsis for the novel:

Set in Nicaragua in 1984, The Stars at Noon is a story of passion, fear, and betrayal told in the voice of an American woman whose mission in Central America is as shadowy as her surroundings. Is she a reporter for an American magazine as she sometimes claims, or a contact person for Eyes of Peace? And who is the rough English businessman with whom she becomes involved? As the two foreigners become entangled in increasingly sinister plots, Denis Johnson masterfully dramatizes a powerful vision of spiritual bereavement and corruption.

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