As I type this, Michel Franco‘s devastating new film Memory is currently playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre here in Toronto, and when the audience emerges from the dark of that theater, some exciting news awaits them, as Franco and Memory star Jessica Chastain have already wrapped their next film together.
Titled Dreams, the film recently finished shooting in San Francisco after signing SAG-AFTRA’s interim agreement, which allows certain independent projects to move forward while employing guild members. Chastain produced Dreams under her Freckle Films banner, and according to Deadline, which broke the news, the script was non-WGA.
“If a majority of independent producers come forward and sign the Interim Agreement deal, it will show the AMPTP how wrong they are when they say our contract terms are unrealistic or unreasonable,” Chastain posted on social media on Sunday. “These agreements also provide employment opportunities for our crew members who are really struggling during the strike. By doing this, we advance our strike agenda as we keep the pressure on the struck companies in a way that nothing else will.”
Indeed, 50 crew members and roughly 60 actors, including Homeland star Rupert Friend, joined Chastain and Franco on the project. Since plot details are being kept under wraps, it remains unclear whether Dreams is the same project as The Dreams of a Few, which was announced back in December 2018.
At the time, producer Édgar San Juan described it as a dystopian film set in the near future that centers around the gulf between the rich and the poor in Mexico City. Franco himself called it “a bigger movie, with a bigger cast” that isn’t as “intimate” as his past work. “The technique and narrative change when you’re following more characters, so it’ll be a change from my aesthetic and usual approach,” he told Variety nearly five years ago.
If 60 actors are said to be part of the cast of Dreams, that would line up with Franco’s description. However, over at World of Reel, Jordan Ruimy says that the story “involves a forbidden romance between a woman and a male ballet dancer” and that it only cost $3 million, which doesn’t seem to line up with a big-budget dystopian film. Hmmm…
Franco’s recent credits include New Order and Sundown, while Chastain will soon be seen opposite fellow Oscar winner Anne Hathaway in Benoît Delhomme‘s dramatic thriller Mothers’ Instinct. In Memory, she plays a single mother whose life changes after meeting a man with dementia, played by Peter Sarsgaard. Chastain is represented by CAA and Mosaic.