Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Yorgos Lanthimos' next movie is ditching costumed finery for gritty, crime-heavy pulp

Photo: Atsushi Nishijima (Fox Searchlight)

Yorgos Lanthimos is having a pretty great year: After a decade of offering up a series of strange, darkly comic provocations on the inner workings of human relationships, he’s finally launched one of his bitter little bolts of brilliance directly into the mainstream of the American movie market, scoring a whole host of Oscar nominations for The Favourite.

Now, Lanthimos is taking that freshly-minted prestige and driving it straight into the delightfully grimy gutter, with THR reporting tonight that the Greek director has set his next project: Pop. 1280, based on a 1964 pulp novel by Jim Thompson, about a small-town sheriff maintaining a balancing act of corruption to keep his people under control.

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The most notable thing about the announcement, though, is that Lanthimos is once again writing this project himself; The Favourite was his first major film that he didn’t at least co-write, which might explain a) why the characters don’t talk like aliens who’ve only recently memorized a basic phrasebook of human expressions, and b) why people flocked to it where films like The Lobster and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer received much cooler receptions. We’ll have to wait and see if success has convinced him to go just a tad more mainstream—although as fans of his earlier work, we wouldn’t mind a throwback into weird-town, especially since Thompson’s book has been described as a “preposterously upsetting, ridiculously hilarious layer cake of nastiness,” which sounds right in the Dogtooth director’s wheelhouse.

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