New York, NY – Jean Doumanian Productions announced today that the Academy Award® nominee Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn will star in the upcoming film, Blackbird, helmed by acclaimed theatrical director Benedict Andrews in his first film outing.  (Andrews’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster, opened at London’s Young Vic earlier this year to rapturous reviews, becoming the fastest-selling play in that theater’s history. His much-acclaimed production of The Maids, starring Cate Blanchett, ran concurrently in New York as part of the Lincoln Center Festival.)  Shooting is scheduled to commence in the UK in the summer of 2015. 

In Blackbird, adapted by David Harrower from his Olivier Award winning play of the same title, two people who once had a passionate affair meet again fifteen years later. Ray is confronted with his past when Una arrives unannounced at his office, and they are forced to revisit their relationship. Ray has made a new life for himself. Una is looking for answers. What follows in this emotional thriller is an unflinching excavation of damaged love. The consequences are shattering.

Blackbird will be produced by Jean Doumanian and Patrick Daly.

David Harrower is an internationally acclaimed playwright currently living and working in Glasgow. Previous work includes Ciara, Traverse Theatre; Public Enemy (adapt.), Young Vic Theatre; Good With People, a Traverse Theatre and Datum Point Co-Production in association with Paines Plough; Calum’s Road, Communicado Theatre Co, National Theatre of Scotland; A Slow Air, Tron Theatre, Glasgow; Good With People, Paines Plough/ Oran Mor, Traverse Theatre; 365, National Theatre of Scotland; Blackbird, Edinburgh International Festival, West End, Manhattan Theatre Club and Sydney Theatre Company; Dark Earth, Traverse Theatre; Presence, Royal Court Theatre; Kill the Old Torture Their Young, Traverse Theatre and Knives in Hens, Traverse Theatre and Bush Theatre. Adaptations include: Public Enemy, Young Vic Theatre Government Inspector, Young Vic Theatre; Sweet Nothings, a new version of Schnitzler’s Liebelei, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Young Vic Theatre; Tales from the Vienna Woods, Royal National Theatre; Ivanov, Royal National Theatre; The Girl on the Sofa, Edinburgh International Festival and the Schaubuhne, Berlin; Woyzeck, Edinburgh Lyceum Theatre; Six Characters in Search of an Author, Young Vic Theatre; Mary Stuart, National Theatre of Scotland and The Chrysalids, Royal National Theatre, BT Connections. David is currently working on White Male Heart for Brocken Spectre/Samson Films and is also currently developing an original series idea for Ecosse/BBC Scotland. He is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.

Benedict Andrews is now based in Reykjavik, and was recently signed by UTA.  He is established as one of the most sought after theatre directors of his generation.  A Streetcar Named Desire (starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster) just premiered at London’s Young Vic Theatre to ecstatic reviews and was quickly followed by Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Maids (starring Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert) tour to New York City as part of Lincoln Center Festival.  Benedict is a frequent collaborator of Cate Blanchett, having directed her last 3 stage performances.  His earlier Young Vic production of Three Sisters (2012) won the London Critics Circle Best Director award.  His prior STC production of GROSS UND KLEIN won the 2011 Helpmann Best Director award (his third) and toured to Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), The Barbican (London), the Wiener Festwochen (Vienna) and the Ruhrfestspiele (Recklinghausen).  This autumn Benedict will open a new production of LA BOHEME at Dutch National Opera, a co-production with English National Opera.  His prior Eno production, Detlev Glanert’s Caligula (2012), was nominated for an Olivier Best New Opera Production award and toured to Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires in 2014.  Other recent opera includes: Verdi’s MACBETH at Royal Danish Opera; Le Nozze Di Figaro at Sydney Opera House; The Fiery Angel at Komische Oper, Berlin.  Benedict is represented by UTA in the US, Judy Daish Associates in the UK, and The Yellow Agency in Australia. For a full bio go to:

Rooney Mara began her career several years ago, shortly after enrolling as a student at New York University.  It was during her college years that Mara decided to explore her interest in acting, landing small parts in independent films and eventually moving to Los Angeles to pursue it full-time.  Mara mesmerized audiences and critics alike in the David Fincher directed, U.S. adaptation of the popular Stieg Larsson book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In a three-picture deal, to include The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Mara portrays the female lead “Lisbeth Salander” opposite Daniel Craig and Robin Wright. Sony released the film on December 20, 2011.  For this role, Mara was recognized by the National Board of Review for Breakthrough Performance as well as earned a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, Drama.  In 2013, Mara starred in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Competitive entry Ain’t Them Bodies Saints for writer/ director David Lowery with Casey Affleck and Ben Foster. The drama tells the story of a young mother who struggles to cope with life after her husband is imprisoned for a deadly crime.  The film was released in theaters in August 2013.   Also in 2013, Mara starred in Side Effects directed by Steven Soderbergh and opposite Channing Tatum and Jude Law.  Mara plays a woman who turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety and depression. The film was released by Open Road Films on February 8, 2013 and was an official entry at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.  In December 2013, Mara appeared in the Academy & Golden Globe Best Picture nominated film Her.  Directed by Spike Jonze and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, the film tells a story about a man who finds love and companionship with the computerized voice of a personal operating system.   Mara will next be seen starring alongside Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman in the “Untitled Terrence Malick” film.   This feature involves two intersecting love triangles, sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.  In addition to the “Untitled Terrance Malick,”   Mara will also star in Stephen Daldry’s film Trash, set in the slums of Brazil with a script written by Richard Curtis. Mara will portray a government aid worker.  The film will premiere at the Rome Film Festival in October 2014.  Early this year, Mara completed production on Carol directed by Todd Haynes and starring opposite Cate Blanchett.  Based off the controversial romance novel The Price of Salt, the drama tells a story about a burgeoning romantic relationship between two women in 1950s New York.  Film 4 is producing and The Weinstein Company will distribute the feature.  Mara recently wrapped production on Pan, directed by Joe Wright.  She stars in the film with Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried, playing the role of Tiger Lily.  The film is produced by Warner Bros.  Mara will next begin production on Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture along with Vanessa Redgrave and Jeremy Irons. The story revolves around a women’s extended stay at a mental hospital.  Filming will begin this Fall in Ireland.  Additionally, Mara will produce and star in Annapurna Pictures’ A House in the Sky.  Based off The New York Times bestselling memoir, the abduction drama tells the story of Amanda Lindhout’s 15-month imprisonment in Somalia.   Additional film credits include Tanner Hall, directed by Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg; David Fincher’s The Social Network; The Weinstein Company’s Youth in Revolt and The Winning Season opposite Sam Rockwell.   On the small screen, Mara’s credits include memorable guest starring roles on “ER,” “The Cleaner,” “Women’s Murder Club,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”   Mara is the Founder of the non-profit organization Uweze, which provides critical care and assistance to poverty-stricken orphans in Africa’s largest slum in Kibera, Kenya. 

Ben Mendelsohn is a critically acclaimed and award winning actor who most recently was awarded the 2013 British Independent Film Award for his performance David Mackenzie’s Starred Up.  In 2010, Ben starred opposite Guy Pearce in David Michod’s highly acclaimed feature Animal Kingdom (winner of the Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Jury Prize).  His performance in the film earned him both of Australia’s top awards - an AFI Award and an IF Award for Best Lead Actor. Off of his incredible performance in Animal Kingdom, he landed three starring roles in coveted films; Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, opposite Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper and Andrew Dominik’s Cogan’s Trade, opposite Brad Pitt.  His other recent work includes Rachel Ward’s feature debut Beautiful Kate alongside Rachel Griffiths (for which he received an AFI Award nomination for Best Lead Actor), David Caesar’s Prime Mover, Alex Proyas’ Knowing starring Nicholas Cage and Rose Byrne, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia and Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly.  Ben is currently shooting the lead of Unt Kzk Netflix’s new show, He just finished shooting the Co-lead of Mississippi Grind opposite Ryan Reynolds and has Ridley Scott’s Exodus in the can. He’ll next be seen in Ryan Gosling directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster. He is repped by CAA and RGM Artist Group.

Jean Doumanian Productions is an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated, and Tony Award winning film, television and theatrical production company. Films include the upcoming Galveston (dir. Janus Metz and written by Nic Pizzolatto, creator of HBO’s True Detective) as well as August: Osage County (dir. John Wells, two 2014 Academy Award nominations), The Ox (dir. Sven Nykvist); The Spanish Prisoner (dir. David Mamet); All the Real Girls (dir. David Gordon Green); Wild Man Blues (dir. Barbara Kopple) and Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, Don’t Drink the Water, Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, Sweet and Lowdown and Small Time Crooks. Upcoming cinematic adaptions include the mini-series Galway Bay, based on the novel of the same name, to be directed by 6 time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan.  Jean Doumanian Productions has produced over 25 theatrical productions, including the recent smash hits The Book of Mormon (9 Tony Awards), August: Osage County (5 Tony Awards, 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), the 2012 revival of Death of a Salesman (2 Tony Awards), and The Mountaintop (Olivier Award: Best Play) starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.

AuthorSaul Nathan-Kazis