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No Longer Seeking Susan; Hal Hartley Lands Aubrey Plaza Opposite Henry Fool Jr. in “Ned Rifle”

Moving from Whit Stillman (Damsels in Distress) to a zombie romance (Life After Beth) with a rare indie sci-fi flick in between (Safety Not Guaranteed), Variety reports that Aubrey Plaza will play the lead female role (named Susan) in Hal Hartley’s Kickstarted, final trilogy chapter Ned Rifle. She joins Thomas Jay Ryan, Parker Posey, Liam Aiken and James Urbaniak on the April, NYC shoot.

Gist: Henry and Fay’s son, Ned, played by Liam Aiken, turns 18 and leaves a witness protection program. (“Rifle” is his maternal grandmother’s maiden name—he’s incognito). His mom has spent the last four years in military custody for alleged terrorist activities (see Fay Grim, 2007) and is transferred to a federal penitentiary to serve a life sentence. Ned, who has absorbed the Christianity of the well adjusted and devout family he has been living with, nevertheless sets out to find and kill his dad, Henry Fool, for the mess the man has made of Fay’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the brilliant, sexy, and troubled Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even the great man’s arrival in the lives of the Grim family.

Worth Noting: The Kickstart campaign amassed a whopping total of almost 400,000.

Do We Care?: Beating out Linklater’s Before Sunset trio for the least top grossing trilogy, it’s about time we revisit parts I (Henry Fool) and II (Fay Grim).

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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