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Escape Planned: Bart Layton’s “American Animals” Arrests Blake Jenner, Barry Keoghan & Jared Abrahamson

One of the most anticipated projects from the Sundance film labs is getting into gear for an immient shoot and Variety reports that Blake Jenner (most recently seen in Shawn Christensen’s Sidney Hall), Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd (seminal perf in Zobel’s Compliance) and legend veteran Udo Kier have been cast alongside Evan Peters in Bart Layton‘s fictional feature debut. Production on American Animals was originally set up for the beginning of 2017, but they are looking at a later date for what would likely be a Sundance 2018 premiere slot. Layton, Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Derrin Schlesinger (Four Lions) and Mary Jane Skalski (Wilson) will produce the UK/US project.

Gist: A heist thriller American Animals will tell the unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistook their lives for a movie and attempted one of the most audacious bank robberies in U.S. history. It promises to take the thrill of the heist genre and turn it inside out blurring the line between truth and fiction in a wild story of money, movies and the search for meaning.

Worth Noting: This took part in Sundance’s Directors and Screenwriters Labs.

Do We Care?: The composition of a “meta” type fact based project that might resemble one facet of Natural Born Killers by a filmmaker who essentially blurred lines to perfection in The Imposter could be cooked up as highly original piece.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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