Having directed only four films over the last quarter-century, we’re not holding our breath when we may see the next feature from Scottish director Lynne Ramsay. However, with a handful of projects in development, we’ve been curious which one she’ll focus her attention on in the coming years. Courtesy of a masterclass at Doha Film Institute’s Qumra 2023, she’s now provided some updates on a quarter of projects in the hopper.
As reported by Screen Daily, Ramsay says first up she hopes to shoot Stone Mattress––an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 2011 short story for The New Yorker that will star Julianne Moore and Sandra Oh––starting this year. Backed by Amazon and adapted by Ramsay with Tom Townend, the thriller is set on an Arctic cruise ship. “It’s such a challenge, that film because it’s a boat in the Arctic – it [needs] all the elements aligning,” she said. “I’m going to shoot it soon, but it’s still to be confirmed. With boats, it’s a logistical issue. I’ll never make a film in a boat again!”
Next up, back in 2021, she revealed she was working on a mysterious project titled Polaris, led by her You Were Never Really Here star Joaquin Phoenix alongside Rooney Mara. “It was a project we’ve been wanting for a long time – it’s an original script and I’m really excited about it,” the director updated, while also hinting she could find new stars for it. “They’ve got a lot of things going on, but it was originally for those two.” Phoenix and Mara are currently reuniting on Paweł Pawlikowski’s next film The Island, which starts shooting shortly.
Most recently, Ramsay revealed she would team with star and producer Jennifer Lawrence on an adaptation of Ariana Harwicz’s Die, My Love. Even if it may be easier to get off the ground than her other projects, it sounds like that one is a bit far off, however. “It’s something I’m working on. It’s super interesting material and really bold,” the director said. “I’m really excited by [it]. I love writing as well, so I’m kind of getting into that right now. There’s a beautiful simplicity with Die, My Love that I really liked; it’s simpler than a cruise.”
Lastly, Aronofsky isn’t the only filmmaker with Moby-Dick on the brain. Ramsay was developing an adaptation of the Herman Melville classic that would take place in space. “We’re taking the premise into the galaxy,” Ramsay said back in 2012. “We’re creating a whole new world and a new alien. [It’s] a very psychological piece, mainly taking place in the ship, a bit like Das Boot, so it’s quite claustrophobic. It’s another monster movie, cos the monster’s Ahab.”
While we hadn’t heard updates in over a decade, Ramsay said she’s still tinkering with it as she attempts to secure financing. “That’s a budget thing,” she said. “There were loads of great ideas that came up with that, but over time something takes you this way or that way; I suppose you always have this bank of projects that are bubbling away in your mind.”
While the full masterclass isn’t available yet, check out a highlight reel below.