Feature Film (Untitled)
Feature Film | tbd
Table of Contents
Background and Announcement
Taylor developed a relationship with David Greenbaum while her partner, actor Joe Alwyn, was shooting The Favourite, the 2018 Oscar winner. She came to the New York Film Festival opening of that film, the two kept in touch, and Greenbaum, knowing Taylor’s Hollywood ambition and her admiration for auteur filmmakers, introduced her to people like Guillermo del Toro, who made The Shape of Water and Nightmare Alley for Searchlight. According to Puck News, Del Toro invited Taylor to tour his memorabilia house in the Valley, and he offered career advice. “I gave her a few books that I thought would be interesting for her — among them, very importantly, a book that was useful for me in creating Pan’s Labyrinth called The Science of Fairy Tales, which codifies and talks about fairytale lore,” del Toro told W in December 2022.
Searchlight knew the big streamers like Netflix and Amazon would shower Taylor with money and let her make whatever she wanted, so the pitch was support and curation, its track record helping first-time filmmakers like Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer), and its core specialty: marketing tougher, smaller-budget titles, everything from Nomadland to Banshees of Inisherin. The budget for Taylor’s film is small and the subject matter intimate; it is reportedly not a Nightmare Alley-style production.
In the fall of 2022, Taylor attended the New York premiere of Banshees with Ethan Tobman, the production designer who has worked with her before, and who did The Menu, Searchlight’s hit of the year. The production company also arranged a conversation between Banshees director Martin McDonagh and Taylor for an interview of Variety‘s “Director on Director” series, lending her credibility during the Oscar season.
Taylor is nothing if not the world’s greatest brand manager of her own personal brand — according to Puck News, the stories about her micromanaging when she was repped at WME, before she brought everything in-house, are legendary — and in this sense, Searchlight is very on-brand for her. For her, who wants a personal touch, an imprimatur of quality and specialty, and who doesn’t need the Apple money, the Searchlight relationship gives her a much better chance to succeed long-term in Hollywood.
|Directed by||Taylor Swift|
|Written by||Taylor Swift|
|Distributed by||Searchlight Pictures|
|Production Companies||Searchlight Pictures|