Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal are being courted to star in “Call Me By Your Name” and “A Bigger Splash” helmer Luca Guadagnino’s next project.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, The Imitation Game) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Nocturnal Animals) are in talks for an upcoming thriller, which Variety reports will be titled Rio. Should they sign on, the former will be playing Thomas Edison, while the latter will play competitor George Westinghouse. Based on a screenplay by Michael Mitnick (The Giver), the plot will be set in the late 1880s and follow both Edison and Westinghouse as they battle for dominance in the electricity market.
The film will be directed by Luca Guadagnino, who is in post-production for the upcoming Suspiria remake starring Chloe Grace Moritz, Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton. Rio is being financed and produced by Studiocanal, alongside Gyllenhaal and his Nine Stories Productions studio banner, as well as Cumberbatch and his Sunny March production company. Nine Stories partner Riva Marker and Sunny March partner Adam Ackland will co-produce the movie and are actively seeks international distribution from potential buyers at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Cumberbatch next reprises his Dr Stephen Strange role for Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, followed by Avengers: Infinity War. He’s also starring in The Weinstein Co’s The Current War. SunnyMarch, and its part-owner, Studiocanal, recently acquired film rights to the upcoming novel by Matt Haig, How To Stop Time with Cumberbatch attached to star.
Gyllenhaal, a recent smash on Broadway in Sunday In The Park With George, is in Cannes competition title Okja from Bong Joon-ho. He’s also got Boston Marathon bombing drama Stronger releasing in September and is lined up for Jacques Audiard’s The Sister Brothers.
Both actors bear Oscar nominations to their names and have continued to balance out their mainstream studio films with roles in more independent fare; see for example, Cumberbatch playing famed mathematician/WWII hero Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, and Gyllenhaal being applauded for his dark performance in the movie Nightcrawler. Rio, however, would mark the first time that the pair have actually shared the screen with one another in leading roles.