The film Eric Larue will tackle the highly-sensitive topic of school shootings and is based on a play that Michael Shannon has previously directed. 

As an actor, Michael Shannon brings a quiet intensity to everything he does. As a director, Shannon is highly accomplished in the world of theatre, but it’s now been announced that he will be making his feature film directorial debut with Eric Larue, a film first written as a play in 2002 as a response to the 1999 Columbine school shooting.

The play was written by Brett Neveau, who has penned the screenplay for the film adaptation. In 2018, Shannon was directing Enemy Of The People, another play written by Neveau when the Parkland, Florida school shooting occurred. Neveau adapted Eric Larue for the screen as a response to that tragedy, with Shannon coming on board to direct.

Gun control and school shootings continue to be a sensitive and controversial aspect of American society, occurring with tragic regularity. The film looks set to respond to this, following ‘Janice, the mother of 17-year-old Eric, who shot and killed three of his classmates. As Janice faces a meeting of the mothers of the other boys, and a long-delayed visit to her son in prison, the story becomes not about the violence but about what we choose to think and do in order to survive trauma.’

Deadline revealed the news, also providing a comment from Shannon on his choice to enter film directing with a a film on such a difficult subject.

Eric Larue has so much to say about our country, about the way we try (sometimes quite ineptly) to deal with the trauma of living here,” stated Shannon, “which is so insidious because it does not present itself overtly in concrete terms most of the time. Like most great stories, Eric Larue plays at the macro and a micro level simultaneously. When I read the screenplay, I immediately knew I had to direct it. I saw it. I heard it. I could feel it. And I wanted to make sure that it received just the right touch in all its aspects, because at the end of the day, it is an extraordinarily delicate thing.”

On the acting front, Shannon will next be seen lining up opposite Brad Pitt in Bullet Train. We’ll bring you more on the production of Eric Larue as we hear it.

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