Photo by Aidan Monaghan – © 2016 LCOZ HOLDINGS, LLC
Palme d’Or-nominated filmmaker, James Gray is reuniting with Focus Features on the upcoming Depression-era ghost horror movie, Ezekiel Moss, Deadline is reporting. The filmmaker will direct the project, after he wrote, helmed and produced the semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama, Armageddon Time, which the distributor released in theaters last year.
Ezekiel Moss was penned by Keith Bunin, who previously co-scribed the 2020 Disney computer-animated fantasy adventure movie, Onward. The upcoming ghost film is being produced by Likely Story for Focus Features.
Gray recently committed to direct Ezekiel Moss after he read Bunin’s latest draft of the script. The director and Focus Features liked the screenplay so much that they’re working with Bunin to develop the full story. Gray and Focus Features are also preparing for the movie’s pre-production process.
The movie follows a young, imaginative boy who’s living in a small town and befriends a mysterious drifter. The latter may or may not have the supernatural ability to communicate with the dead.
Focus Features has been developing Ezekiel Moss for almost a decade. Philip Seymour Hoffman previously planned to helm the film before his unexpected death in 2014.
Gray is known for his critically acclaimed dramas, including We Own the Night, The Immigrant, Ad Astra and Two Lovers. Bunin recently penned Disney’s live action hybrid remake of The Aristocats, which Questlove recently signed on to direct.
In October, Gray was reported to have signed on helm a biopic about President John F. Kennedy. The movie, which will focus on the former Commander-in-Chief’s time serving in the Navy during World War II, was scribed by Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore. Gray will reportedly write a new draft of the script.
The biopic is being produced by Gray’s frequent collaborators at MadRiver Pictures. The film will likely be the director’s next project, with production expected to begin sometime this year.