Jessica Chastain Reteams with Michel Franco for Secret Drama ‘Dreams’

While Jessica Chastain and director Michel Franco walked carpets and conducted press conferences at the Venice Film Festival, where they were feted for their film Memory, the duo were also holding a little secret close to their vests.

Prior to Memory hitting Venice, Chastain and Franco completed shooting a feature this summer in San Francisco.

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Dreams stars Chastain along with Mexican ballet dancer and actor Isaac Hernandez and Rupert Friend, the British actor who has become a Wes Anderson featured player of late.

Details are scarce but the story involves a possible forbidden romance between a woman, who works for an arts foundation, and a ballet dancer. Franco wrote the script and is directing.

The movie shot in San Francisco with a budget of around $3 million, according to sources. It did have a SAG-AFTRA waiver allowing it to shoot during the actors strike.

Franco is producing the movie, now in postproduction, along with Eréndira Núñez Larios.

Franco’s Memory earned a rousing eight-minute standing ovation when it premiered at Venice last week, where its plaudits included a best actor award for Peter Sarsgaard. Chastain also earned rave reviews for her work in the drama about trauma and connection.

Chastain has also publicly spoken about how interim agreements and independent productions can be a tool during the actors strike. Writing on Twitter/X, she said on Sunday, “If a majority of independent producers, come forward and sign the Interim Agreement deal it will show the AMPTP how wrong they are when they say our contract terms are unrealistic or unreasonable. These agreements also provide employment opportunities for our crew members who are really struggling during the strike. By doing this, we advance our strike agenda as we keep the pressure on the struck companies in a way that nothing else will.”

The actress, repped by CAA and Mosaic, is currently with Franco at the Toronto International Film Festival for Memory.

Friend appeared as the Grand Inquisitor in last year’s Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series and was part of Anderson’s all-star Asteroid City, which Focus released in June. He next appears in Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. The movie premiered at Venice last week and next gets a theatrical opening Sept. 20 followed by debut on Netflix Sept. 27. Friend is repped by Grandview and Hansen Jacobson.

Hernandez is an acclaimed dancer who has been part of companies in San Francisco, Paris and Rome,  as well as the Dutch National Ballet and English National Ballet. He made his screen acting debut with 2021’s The King of All the World, a Mexican-Spanish co-production, and also appeared as a dancer in Netflix’s Spanish-language limited series Someone Has to Die. He is repped by Vision Entertainment.

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