Ethan Hawke has begun production on ‘Wildcat’, a look at the life of Flannery O’Connor who shines Maya Hawke as the southern writer. He has assembled an ensemble of heavy hitters, including an Oscar nominee Laura Linney (“You Can Count on Me”), Philip Ettinger (“First Reformed”), Rafael Casal (“Blindspotting”), Steve Zahn (“White Lotus”), Cooper Hoffman (“Licorice Pizza”), Willa Fitzgerald (“Reacher ”), Alessandro Nivola (“The Many Saints of Newark”) and Vincent D’Onofrio (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”).
In addition to directing the film, Ethan Hawke is also co-producing and co-writing the script with Shelby Gaines. “Wildcat” is produced by Joe Goodman of Good Country Pictures, Ryan Hawke and Ethan Hawke of Under the Influence Productions, Cory Pyke of Renovo Media Group, and Kevin Downes and Jon Erwin and Daryl Lefever of Kingdom Story Company. Executive producers include Eric Groth and David Kingland of Renovo Media Group alongside Maya Hawke through Under the Influence Productions. Principal photography began on Jan. 10 in Louisville, Ky. Renovo fully finances the photo. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA Media Finance handle worldwide distribution rights.
“Wildcat” will follow O’Connor as she struggles to get her first novel published. O’Connor, a devout Catholic from Georgia, was invited to the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Famous for her offbeat short fiction about the American South and her faith, she was plagued with lupus for much of her life and died at the age of 39. Her work is still read, studied and admired and she has received posthumous acclaim, including the National Book Prize. O’Connor’s notable works include two books of short stories: “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, as well as the novel “Wise Blood”.
“Maya has worked hard for years to put this project together, and we are grateful for the opportunity to introduce a new generation of moviegoers to the genius of Flannery O’Connor,” said Ethan Hawke. “Her work explores themes that are important to all artists – the intersection of creativity and belief, the blurred relationship between imagination and reality.”
Ethan Hawke previously worked with daughter Maya Hawke on the limited series “The Good Lord Bird,” but he’s directing her for the first time with “Wildcat.”
“The opportunity to partner with the Hawkes to tell this story of struggle, imagination and faith is exactly the kind of venture Renovo was created for,” says Kingland. “This project has brought together a unique combination of cast and crew to share the life and writings of Flannery O’Connor with fans and new audiences.”