There’s not exactly any non-awkward way to say this, so we might as well cut straight to the chase: Yes, Amy Adams is starring in a film about a woman slowly transforming into a dog. And yes, the title of that film is apparently Nightbitch. Yes, that’s a real film premise, one based on the acclaimed debut novel of author Rachel Yoder.
Searchlight Pictures has acquired the worldwide rights to Annapurna’s Nightbitch, which stars (and was produced by) Adams. The screenplay, meanwhile, was written by A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’s Marielle Heller, who also directs. The overall tone is described as both dark comedy and “neo-horror,” whatever that means, and is currently in pre-production, with filming scheduled for September in L.A., before the film premieres in the U.S. as a Hulu original. As the full synopsis puts it:
Adams stars as “a woman thrown into the stay-at-home routine of raising a toddler in the suburbs, who slowly embraces the feral power deeply rooted in motherhood, as she becomes increasingly aware of the bizarre and undeniable signs that she may be turning into a canine.”
Pretty wild, there’s no doubt about that. And yet, perhaps not entirely unprecedented. One has to wonder if there’s some inspiration here from the likes of Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur’s 1942 classic Cat People, in which a woman fears she’s turning into a beast as a result of her repressed desires. Perhaps there’s a twist of the same sort of magical realism to be found in Nightbitch?
Regardless, Adams is probably hoping for a meaty comeback role right about now, with her recent acting projects not exactly living up to the reputation of an A-list Hollywood performer. Recent projects such as Dear Evan Hansen, Hillbilly Elegy and The Woman in the Window all received pretty vicious critical drubbings, though we went to bat for the latter, at least on some level. Does transforming into a dog help turn one’s recent career fortunes around? We’ll let you know when we get our next look at Nightbitch, but with a title like that, we’re not going to be forgetting about the existence of this project any time soon.