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First Look: Jamie Dornan in 'The 9th Life of Louis Drax'

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Doane Gregory/Miramax

Not long after Jamie Dornan forces the world into submission as the eponymous sadist in Fifty Shades of Grey, he’ll take on another dark role. Except this one involves electrodes.

No, not how you’re thinking.

In The 9th Life of Louis Drax, Dornan plays Dr. Allan Pascal, a coma specialist tasked with unraveling the mystery surrounding a young boy, Louis Drax, and his fall from cliffs in San Franciso. In an exclusive first look photo, Dornan uses some sci-fi technology to examine his comatose patient’s subconscious and discover what really happened to him.

Based on the book by Liz Jensen, the film adaptation of Louis Drax, which also stars Sarah Gadon and Aaron Paul, is a result of director Alexandre Aja’s previous film, Horns. That’s where he met writer Max Minghella, who starred in the film with Daniel Radcliffe. The two got to talking about what Aja wanted to make next, and without knowing it, the director described a hypothetical film very close to the screenplay Minghella had finished.

“The more we were talking about [what I wanted to do next], the more I was seeing him smiling, like, ‘This is exactly what I’m working on,'” Aja recalls.

Aja describes the tone of the film as slightly Hitchcockian, with Dornan as the conflicted hero. “He’s playing this leading male who is torn between his feelings for Louis’ mother and a desire to shine the light on something that is dark and scary,” Aja says. “It’s definitely something he’s never done before.”

The 9th Life of Louis Drax is anticipated to hit theaters later this year.

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