the power of the dog cast

Kirsten Dunst has already become a god in Central Florida, so why not a local widow in the new Netflix Western drama The Power of the Dog? The year of the Dunst-issance continues as the On Becoming a God in Central Florida star has been tapped to replace Elisabeth Moss in Jane Campion‘s adaptation of the 1967 Thomas Savage novel about two wealthy brothers with opposite personalities played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul Dano.

Variety broke the news that Dunst is joining The Power of the Dog cast to replace Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), who is exiting the project due to scheduling conflicts. Oscar-nominated director Jane Campion (The Piano) is directing the adaptation of the Thomas Savage novel starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul Dano as two wealthy brothers whose relationship splinters in 1920s Montana. Dunst is set to play a local widow who marries Dano’s character.

Dano’s character is described as “fastidious and gentle,” while Cumberbatch’s brother is “brilliant and cruel.” Their joint ownership of the biggest ranch in Montana valley and Dano’s character’s marriage to a local widow sparks a war between the two brothers that entangles her teenage son.

Here is the synopsis for the novel The Power of the Dog (via Google Books):

Set in 1920s Montana, Savage’s 1967 novel introduces the Burbank brothers, whose lives are permanently altered when one falls in love with a widow and brings the woman and her son to live on their isolated ranch. It traces the tense relationship between two bachelor brothers, Phil and George Burbank, on a Montana ranch in the 1920s. When George marries a widow, Phil, a bullying, repressed homosexual, terrorizes his new sister-in-law. And when her teenage son comes to the ranch, things get even more complicated.

The Power of the Dog sounds like a warped, intense drama that would offer Cumberbatch and Dano plenty of meat to chew on, as well as Dunst, who has been experiencing newfound appreciation this year, as she earns acclaim for her turn on the Showtime comedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Hopefully The Power of the Dog will let Dunst continue her quiet renaissance.

Netflix acquired the project this summer from See-Saw Films’ in-house sales arm, Cross City Films and plans to release The Power of the Dog on streaming and in theaters in 2021.

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