Derek Cianfrance's latest film The Light Between Oceans is in theaters now, and despite a powerhouse trio of stars it didn't get off to a good start. However that's not stopping him from planning his next film, Empire of the Summer Moon, which is based on the true story of the last prominent Comanche chief, Quanah Parker.
Variety and Indiewire have the news, reporting Cianfrance hopes to shoot the film next spring.The project has actually been in the works for a few years, with Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace) attached to the adaptation of S.C. Gwynn's book, "Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History". It never came to pass then, but with Warner Bros. taking over and Cianfrance set to direct and co-write with Darius Marder (co-writer on The Place Beyond the Pines) the chances are looking good.
Quanah was the son of Cynthia Ann Parker, who in 1836 was abducted by Comanche raiders after they massacred her family settlement. She completely assimilated into the Comanche culture and married legendary chief Peta Nocona, giving birth to three children, including Quanah. She was eventually recaptured by the Texas Rangers, and Quanah spent much of his life trying to find her. Quanah was never elected chief, but he was appointed that title by the U.S. government after helping to settle the Comanches on a reservation in 1875.
About Quanah and the upcoming production, Cianfrance says...
[He] grew into his manhood, raged against the theft of his mother and spent his whole life trying to find her again. Hopefully I’ll be in production on in the spring, but then again, that’ll be like a 100-day production and that’ll be another year editing that. I’ve already spent three years writing that.”
In other words, don't expect to see this for quite a while. Cianfrance has always put a lot of his focus on legacy and how certain things, both good and bad, are passed down from one generation to the next. This sounds like another chance for him to explore that very theme once again.