Karyn Kusama looks to get out of the rut


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EXCLUSIVE: Former indie darling Karyn Kusama struggled with her last release, the Diablo Cody-penned, Megan Fox-starring genre tale, “Jennifer’s Body.”

But she’ll try to get out of the rut by going into, well, “The Rut.” Sources say that the writer-director is developing a new project with that name, which takes her in a slightly different direction from her previous movies.


“Body” indulged in and sent up conventions of the high school slasher movie, and her “Aeon Flux” was an action-adventure film with science-fiction and fantasy overtones. “The Rut” concerns a father-daughter relationship and centers particularly on hunting, as a daughter must learn the tricks of hunting and archery taught to her by her father after said father goes missing. (It does, however, keep Kusama with the girl-empowerment theme.)

Chloë Moretz, who after her Hit Girl turn in “Kick-Ass” can pretty much do no wrong with the fan crowd, is in talks to star as the daughter.

Kusama is an interesting example/template for many of the indie directors who are now being lured to commercial films (“Spider-Man” director Marc Webb comes to mind). Kusama was hot after her indie boxing drama “Girlfight” won both the director’s prize and a grand jury prize at Sundance a decade ago and was quickly hired for the more commercial “Body” and “Flux, but both disappointed at the box office.

It’s a lot easier to get out of the indie rut than it is to get out of the box-office rut.

-- Steven Zeitchik

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