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Michael Shannon Set to Make His Directorial Debut

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Michael Shannon is set to take up the director’s chair for the first time in his career after agreeing to helm the upcoming adaptation of Eric Larue. Shannon is probably best known for his roles in box office hits Man of Steel and Knives Out but has also enjoyed a successful career in less prominent roles in both film and in live theater.

Despite receiving two Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in Nocturnal Animals and Revolutionary Road, Shannon has arguably had more success on stage. He has received multiple nominations and plaudits for his starring roles in the likes of Bug, Mistakes Were Made

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and Long Day’s Journey Into the Night.

And it’s a stage play that will provide the basis of Shannon’s first directorial feature as he will be adapting Brett Neveu’s hard-hitting drama, Eric Larue. After the announcement, Shannon released a statement detailing his decision to take on the project and why he felt it was important now.

The play is a rather politically-charged tale exploring the mass shooting problem that’s plaguing America, with a particular focus on high schools. Few other details are known about this latest production, but it promises to be a fraught tale that sadly will remain as poignantly relevant today, if not more so.

The story follows the tale of Janice Larue the eponymous Eric’s mother as she attempts to come to terms with the fact that her son carried out a mass shooting at his school. It was written in response to the infamous Columbine Massacre, but Shannon will allegedly be updating the script to include more recent examples including the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018.

In the play, Janice is forced to come face-to-face with the parents of the three children her son has killed, before confronting Eric herself at the prison where he is being held. Having expressed how moved he was by the story, Shannon is hoping to recapture that angst on the big screen in what could make for a compelling Oscar contender.

In the face of the most recent attacks carried out at the 4th of July celebrations, Eric Larue should still provide a somber take on the highly controversial wedge issue of gun control. A release date is yet to be announced, but Shannon is also preparing for roles in the TV series American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials and the film McCarthy, so it’s likely pre-production won’t begin for some time.

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