Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Dee Rees, whose powerful Mudbound scored a handful of Oscar nominations in 2017, returns to Netflix next month with The Last Thing He Wanted, an adaptation of Joan Didion’s 1997 novel of the same name. A journalistic thriller set against the Iran–Contra affair of the mid-80s, it features an enticing cast that includes Ben Affleck, Rosie Perez, Willem Dafoe, and a very sweaty Anne Hathaway.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Adapted from the Joan Didion novel of the same title, The Last Thing He Wanted is set against the nebulous milieu of the Iran-Contra scandal. Veteran D.C. journalist Elena McMahon (Academy Award® winner Anne Hathaway) abandons the 1984 campaign trail out of a misguided sense of duty to her father, Dick McMahon (Oscar® nominee Willem Dafoe). Guilted into running a dangerous fool’s errand on his behalf, Elena leverages the moment to pursue her own investigation but instead gets tipped into the confounding center of the very intrigue she’s trying to expose. Answers turn into questions and wrong turns lead to dead ends in this stylish political thriller as Elena becomes increasingly lost on a map of someone else’s making and the possibility of return — to home and to herself — slowly narrows. The fourth film from director and Academy Award® nominated writer Dee Rees (Pariah, Bessie, Mudbound) co-stars Oscar® winner Ben Affleck, Academy Award® nominee Rosie Perez, Edi Gathegi, Mel Rodriguez, Onata Aprile and Toby Jones. Marco Villalobos co-wrote the script, and Cassian Elwes produced with Rees.

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The Last Thing He Wanted hits Netflix queues on February 21, but will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. Stay tuned for our dispatches.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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