Jim Rash and Nat Faxon will delve into the world of equestrians and elite boarding schools in the dark comedy, THOROUGHBRED. The Descendants screenwriters are set to produce the film based on a stage play written by up-and-coming playwright Cory Finley, who will also write and direct the film adaptation.
The story follows Christine Wyckland, a guidance counselor at a top-tier prep school who has decided to spend some time at home in order to recover from a panic attack. Her daughter is an amateur equestrian that has become jaded to the sport and has been blacklisted from her peers after injuring her horse. One of Christine’s students starts showing up to school with strange marks on his skin and in the woods around their house it seems as though menacing eyes are watching their suburban haven.
Thoroughbred marks Finley’s feature film debut. Rash and Faxon will produce alongside Kevin J. Walsh, who also served as producer of The Way, Way Back, which the duo wrote and directed. Alex Saks of June Pictures is also set to produce.
The project feels slightly outside of the more light-hearted fare Rash and Faxon have explored in their previous films. Based on Finley’s body of work, he has a distinct way of handling dark subject manner. This is seen in his play The Feast, a bleak domestic comedy about a man whose life on a downward spiral as he is haunted by strange noises from the toilet. The more recent Brenda tells a story about Wallace, who misses his mother’s funeral and, through supernatural events, starts to get inhabited by her. Between The Descendants and The Way, Way Back, we’re used to seeing Rash and Faxon handling stories with heartfelt, yet not overly cheesy, family moments, grounded in nuance. This darker, yet still comedic story – along with the recent sale of their slasher comedy Dead Mall – suggests the duo is exploring new directions.
June Pictures is the newly formed financing and production company headed up by CEO Andrew Duncan. Saks recently departed ICM Partners to serve as president of Duncan’s shingle. In addition to Thoroughbred, the company recently wrapped production on the dramedy Dune.
Rash and Faxon are mostly known for their comedic roles and met while performing at The Groundlings. Rash is best known for his role as Dean Pelton from the NBC-turned-Yahoo comedy Community. He recently appeared in episodes of The Grinder, Lucifer, and Dr. Ken. Faxon recently appeared in the dramedy Operator with Martin Starr and Mae Whitman, which made its premiere at SXSW. He also starred in the FX series Married opposite Judy Greer.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer