In new thriller The Gift (out July 31), Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play Simon and Robyn, a couple whose world begins to fall apart following a chance encounter with a high school acquaintance of Simon’s named Gordo. The film is the directorial debut of actor Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Animal Kingdom) and is produced by STX Entertainment and Blumhouse Productions.
“I was very compelled by this notion of, you slight someone in the past and you think they’ve forgotten—and they haven’t,” says Blumhouse boss Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious). “And then I really like the idea that the way that person may, or may not, be getting revenge is [by] giving you a series of gifts that start off nice and grow meaner and meaner and meaner. I thought those were very relatable things.”
In addition to writing and directing The Gift, Edgerton also cast himself in the role of Gordo. Blum admits that before the start of filming he was worried the Australian was taking on too much. “I was concerned about it,” he says. “A first-time director and being in the movie, I thought it was a lot. We talked about it a bunch of times until finally he got me comfortable. In fact, he was right and I was wrong to be worried about it. It was something I didn’t need to be concerned about, which became clear once we started shooting.”
The Gift was previously titled Weirdo. It was Blum who insisted on the new moniker, despite there already being a Sam Raimi-directed 2000 film with that name. “I definitely will go on record saying I did not like the title Weirdo,” laughs the producer. “So I’ll take the fall if you’re not crazy about the title.”
You can see the new trailer for The Gift below.