Talk about a devilish combination: Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page, together, in a psychological thriller that pits the two against each other. Variety reports that the two have signed on to star in Peacock, wherein Murphy plays a man with a split personality - husband and wife alter egos - and Page, a young mother who "sparks a battle" between them. The film is named for the town in which the story takes place, Peacock, Nebraska. The residents believe Murphy's egos are, in fact, a married couple. How great is that?
Of course, Page is all the rage nowadays, what with her Oscar nomination for Juno and having signed onto two well-reported movies in the past month - Whip It (directed Drew Barrymore) and Drag Me To Hell (directed by Sam Raimi). Personally, I much more enjoyed Page's calm, calculating and sadistic side in Hard Candy. Since she's to play a young mother in Peacock, it's doubtful she'll flex those muscles this time around; but it'll be great to see her opposite someone who seems to have a similar, quiet madness about them.
Murphy's slight androgynous nature seems the perfect trait to have him play a both man and woman, convincingly. Add to this, the Irish actor's menacing, plotting stare and you have the perfect gender-confused crazy - a fitting complement to Page's take on the unconventional psycho.
Murphy told Variety, "[it] stunned me as a script from start to finish. It offers an incredible challenge to an actor — one I couldn't turn down." Murphy is set to reprise his role as the trippy Scarecrow in The Dark Knight later this year, possibly as just as quick cameo.
Peacock is co-written by Ryan Roy and Michael Lander, which reportedly is a first film for both. Lander will direct, while Barry Mendel (Sixth Sense) will produce. The indie film is scheduled to begin filming in May, presumably after Drag Me To Hell wraps up and before Page starts work on Whip It. I doubt it really matters, because the fact remains, Ms. Page is quite the busy, successful chameleon. I just hope her appeal doesn't suffer from overexposure, and she preserves that confounding complexity that makes her so great.