The Dark Knight Rises

Seemingly determined to mix it up a bit after her turns in Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway has booked a role that should push The Princess Diaries even further from viewers’ minds: She’ll be psychically linked to a kaiju in the new movie from offbeat Spanish genre director Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial, Open Windows).

Described alternately as “Transformers vs. Adaptation” and “Godzilla meets Being John Malkovich,” the film, called Colossal, will star Hathaway as Gloria, a woman who decides to leave New York City after her life there falls apart. But before she can leave, she sees news reports of a giant monster—that totally isn’t Godzilla, in case anyone from Toho is reading this—rampaging through Tokyo. That’s weird enough, but then Gloria realizes that she seems to share a psychic link with the beast. She then heads to Japan to see if she can stop it from using any more skyscrapers as toothpicks.

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Casting an Oscar winner like Hathaway is a big deal for Vigalondo, whose past productions have all maintained a pretty low profile. (His biggest “get” to date was Elijah Wood in his 2014 thriller Open Windows.) This particular project seems to be a mix of high and low: “Colossal is my most ambitious script so far, and probably also the most personal one,” Vigalondo says. But even with A-list talent attached, don’t expect Colossal to look anything like its contemporaries Pacific Rim or Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla (or whatever Toho’s Godzi-Con brain trust comes up with, for that matter). When he announced the film last fall, Vigalondo also announced his intent to use goofy costumes, saying, “I’ve got an idea that’s going to make it so cheap that you will feel betrayed.” Financier Voltage Films seems to be reinforcing this angle: “We look forward to seeing Anne in such a challenging role,” CEO Nicolas Chartier says, presumably referring to the challenge of pretending to be scared of a guy in a cheap rubber suit.