The period drama Serena is an oddity – in the sense that we’ve heard so little about it, thus far. The flick stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper – their third movie together along with Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle – and was directed by filmmaker Susanne Bier, whose previous work includes the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winning film In a Better World. Post-production on Serena may’ve taken longer than expected, but the movie is seemingly all finished by now – so why doesn’t it have a U.S. release date yet?
Serena is now slated to hit U.K. theaters on October 24th this year, but as of right now the project isn’t slated for a U.S. launch – and thus, isn’t a potential contender in the forthcoming awards season race, despite having impressive credentials that also include best-selling source material by Ron Rash. Back in late 2013, the film was shopped around to potential distributors but, for reasons that have yet to be made public, no studios picked up the feature.
Bier and her editing team, which includes frequent collaborator Pernille Bech Christensen and Matthew Newman (Drive), reportedly spent some 18 months to finish Serena, with THR‘s insider reporting that “it was just a real precision edit because the story is about a woman’s decent into madness” – coupled with Bier’s tendency (as a filmmaker) to be a perfectionist in general, that is. You can read through the synopsis for Serena below, followed by a newly-released image of Lawrence in the film.
The film follows newlyweds George (Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Lawrence) who travel from Boston to the mountains of North Carolina where they begin to build a timber empire in 1929. Serena soon shows herself to be the equal of any man: overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness. Together, this king and queen rule their dominion, killing or vanquishing all who stand in the way of their ambitions. But when Serena learns that she can never bear a child, she sets out to murder the woman who bore George a son before his marriage. And when she starts to suspect that George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons’ intense, passionate marriage begins to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.
Both Lawrence and Cooper will have new films hitting theaters before 2014 draws to a close (not counting Cooper’s voice work as Rocket Racoon in Guardians of the Galaxy), in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and American Sniper, respectively. In other words, their careers are going perfectly well and will continue to do so in the future, regardless of what ultimately happens with Serena. (That is, whether it finally gets shown in U.S. theaters or winds up being quietly given a direct-to-home viewing release.)
That said, Bier’s film looks to be a handsome historical drama, especially in terms of the costumes from Alice Cortes Kheilova (Hellboy, La Vie en Rose) – and the scripted storyline by Christopher Kyle (K-19: The Widowmaker, Alexander) sounds like it offers the sort of meaty dramatic material that will properly showcase Cooper and Lawrence’s acting prowess. So, fingers crossed, we’ll get to see it sooner than later (here in the States, that is).
Serena is currently without a U.S. release date, but will open in the U.K. on October 24th, 2014.
Movie Productions > Serena (2014) > Production Stills
Their on-screen chemistry is undeniable and Jennifer and Bradley Cooper look amazing in new stills from “Serena”. Per the synopsis,
“In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton’s (Cooper) timber empire becomes complicated when it is learned that his wife, Serena (Lawrence) cannot bear children.”
Movie Projects > 2014 – Serena > Production Stills
Screendaily.com is reporting that Serena will debut in April 2014.
Susanne Bier, whose US drama Serena will debut in April 2014, will return to Denmark for her next film, A Second Chance (En chance til).
Bier’s has most recently worked on Serena – which she took over from US director Darren Aronofsky – and is her second American movie after Things We Lost in the Fire with Halle Berry in 2007.
Adapted from US author Ron Rash’s novel, it follows Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) and her new husband (Bradley Cooper), who in the depression-hit late-1920s travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains to create a timper empire.
Toby Jones and Jennifer Lawrence never share any onscreen time in “The Hunger Games,” so they’re making up for that in the upcoming movie “The Falling.” Formerly titled “Serena,” the movie follows a couple played by Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as they commit a string of crimes to try to make money for their family. Jones plays the sheriff tasked with bringing them to justice.
IFC caught up with Jones at “The Hunger Games” premiere Monday night where he shared that “The Falling” was beginning shooting the following week. He said he’s excited to be returning to set with her as “The Hunger Games” is about to hit theaters, especially in a film that inverts their roles.
“I’m chasing her character,” he explained. “She’s the villain, I’m the hero.”
The movie, which also stars Rhys Ifans, tells the story of George and Serena Pemberton, the owners of a timber empire in North Carolina. However, their claim on the wealth becomes complicated when the couple finds out Serena can’t bear any children. Susanne Bier will direct it.
“Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have a love story that completely robs them of any moral place, and I as the sheriff, I’m chasing them down and trying to pin crimes on them that they’ve committed,” Jones explained of the film’s plot.
In “The Hunger Games,” Lawrence plays a 16-year-old girl forced to fight to the death against 23 of her peers to last through a terrifying reality tournament held by their futuristic society every year. Jones plays the Hunger Games’s heartless announcer Claudius Templesmith.
Today the first still of Jennifer and Bradley Cooper in the upcoming movie Serena has been released. Of course we added this to the gallery. Jen looks fab in the still!
Movie Projects > 2012 – Serena > Production Stills
Surely barely rested from her whirlwind promotional tour for “The Hunger Games” – which is now on its way to its third week at #1 at the box office – Jennifer Lawrence is already hard at work on her next film. The Prague paparazi snapped the newest overnight superstar on the set of Susanna Bier’s “Serena”, based on the novel by Ron Rash and co-starring Bradley Cooper. Czech news site Blesk.cz got the first pictures from the set of the “Silver Linings Playbook” co-stars reunited.
The 2008 Rash novel follows a pair of young newlyweds, George and Serena Pemberton, who attempt to build a timbre empire in 1920s North Carolina by ay means necessary, including killing their competition. When Serena discovers she can’t have children, she sets out to murder the illegitimate child her husband fathered before her arrival in town and their passionate marriage quickly unravels.
Cooper is shown in the pictures demonstrating such ruthlessness in a bloody shirt, while Lawrence is back to blonde and curly after going dark to play post-apocalyptic teenage hero Katniss Everdeen. The two appear to have filmed at an old-fashioned train station, perhaps Serena’s arrival, while young extras in period garb were also snapped on set.
Head to Blesk.cz for more images. No release date has been announced yet.