Actors [movieperson id=”234610″]Hugh Jackman[/movieperson], [movieperson id=”183270″]Rachel Weisz[/movieperson] and [movieperson id=”365131″]Robert Pattinson[/movieperson] have all had their share of buzz this May, with Jackman and Weisz lining up multiple movie deals in the past two weeks, and Pattinson continuing to ride the “Twilight” wave. Now all three are lending their star power to the writing and directorial debut of actress Madeleine Stowe for her period drama, “Unbound Captives.”
“Captives” is a tale set in 1865 America about a woman (played by Weisz) whose husband is killed by a Comanche war party and whose two children (one of whom will be played by Pattinson) are kidnapped. She is then rescued by a frontiersman (Jackman).
Stowe penned the script under the pseudonym O.C. Humphrey in 1993, hoping to play the lead role herself. According to Variety, Fox offered her $3 million, then raised the offer to $5 million, one of the highest offers ever made to a first-time screenwriter.
Ridley Scott was interested in directing and Russell Crowe wanted to star, but the actress turned down that offer because there was no promise that she would be involved beyond a screenwriter’s credit.
“There are moments in life where you need to follow your heart. The script remained my singular focus, but directing it myself wasn’t something I ever dreamed of,” said Stowe, who was encouraged to take the director’s chair by the film’s producer, Gil Netter, Variety reported. She’ll be aided in her debut by experienced cinematographer John Toll, who has been responsible for such historical epics as “Braveheart” and “The Last Samurai.”
Though Stowe no longer gets to play the part for which she once turned down $5 million, she is enthusiastic about Weisz taking the role. “I saw three actresses, and knew after meeting with Rachel that she was the person I wanted to hand this role to,” she told the paper. She also managed to land her handsome male leads with a bit of lucky timing, noting, “Robert said yes last fall, before everything broke with ‘Twilight.’ Hugh said yes a couple of weeks ago.”
Filming is expected to start by the end of the year.