Nomadland First Look: Frances McDormand Stars in Chloe Zhao Film


Before she heads to Marvel and Amazon, Zhao is helming another signature story about the changing American West.

Fox Searchlight Pictures has picked up the rights to Chloe Zhao’s much-anticipated followup to her lauded second feature, “The Rider.” Starring Frances McDormand in her first role after winning the Oscar for Best Actress at last year’s ceremony, “Nomadland” features the actress in a new vision of the American West. She takes center stage in a pair of first look photos from the film, which emphasize Zhao’s ability to build stories in unique settings that capture the grandeur and desolation of their locations.

Per its official synopsis, the film “is a road movie following Fern (McDormand), a woman in her sixties, who after losing everything in the Great Recession embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. A signature of Zhao’s, the film includes real people turned actors including Linda May and Charlene Swankie.” The film also stars David Strathairn.

“As I fell in love with the American West, it was impossible not to become fascinated with the roads that lead to the many adventures beyond the horizon. I’m very fortunate to be able to hit the road with a talented team and collaborate with a cast of professional and non-professional actors who are deeply giving and inspiring. I can’t wait to share their stories and what we’ve discovered along the way,” said Zhao in an official statement.

The fim is currently in production and there’s no word yet on when it will be released. The film is based on the non-fiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” by Jessica Bruder, which McDormand and producer Peter Spears optioned soon after it was published in 2017.

Per its official synopsis, Bruder’s book tells “a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy―one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, [the author] celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive.”

Zhao is also on deck to helm Amazon Studios’ upcoming untitled Bass Reeves biopic and Marvel’s upcoming “Eternals” feature film.

(From L-R): Director/Writer Chloé Zhao, Director of Photography Joshua Richardson and Frances McDormand on the set of NOMADLAND. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

(From L-R): Director/Writer Chloé Zhao, Director of Photography Joshua Richardson and Frances McDormand on the set of “Nomadland”

Fox Searchlight Pictures

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