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Neponset Circle - What We Know So Far

Every year, thousands of people from all around the world descend upon a city in the western U.S. to watch movies, network with agents, find the next Hollywood comeback story, and make glitzy purchases. And no, we're not talking about the Sundance Film Festival. We're talking about the American Film Market, or AFM, which takes place in Santa Monica, California, every year and aims to facilitate major acquisition deals in the film industry.

This past November, there were quite a few notable movies that were topics of discussion at the 2022 AFM. The event's lineup included "The Undertaker," starring Ann Dowd of "The Handmaid's Tale" fame, "Replay" starring Olivia Munn, and "Thelma" with Kathy Bates. But just before the event began, two more stars joined a buzzy crime thriller with a splashy mystery at its core. "Neponset Circle," which promises doom and gloom and a real-life gory murder, will now star Guy Pearce and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (via Variety). Here's everything we currently know about the film.

When will Neponset Circle be released?

"Neponset Circle" is still in pre-production, so it doesn't have a premiere date yet. But it already came stacked with a talented crew even before Guy Pearce and Jeffrey Dean Morgan joined up, so it shouldn't hit too many snags during filming. John Chase, who wrote the film, is known for writing and directing several films, including "Officer Down" which starred Stephen Dorff ("True Detective"), David Boreanaz ("Bones"), and Stephen Lang ("Avatar," "Avatar: The Way of Water"). He also wrote and directed 2000's "Massholes," which followed four high schoolers across one day in Massachusetts (via IMDb). While the film didn't make a dent in the pop culture scene, it surely established his cred as a raconteur of Massachusetts-based stories. Fittingly, "Neponset Circle" is set in Boston.

Additionally, the film already has a skilled cinematographer behind the camera. Toby Oliver, who has worked with Guy Pearce before on "33 Postcards," previously lent his eye for menacing lighting and camera moves to the Oscar-winning "Get Out."

What is the plot of Neponset Circle?

While we know that "Neponset Circle" will be based on a real-life — and as yet unsolved — murder that shocked the Boston populace, we can only speculate as to which historic Boston murder the film will depict. However, the synopsis of the film offers a few clues.

Described as a dark thriller, the movie will follow the brilliant detective Jimmy O'Mannon, who is freshly out of prison and attempting to put his life back together. After joining his best friend and former partner in tracking down a serial killer, O'Mannon finds himself in an escalating nightmare. Meanwhile, the body count only gets larger as O'Mannon and his partner Ray Delaney work on the case.

Of course, when one thinks of Boston-based serial killers, the Boston Strangler comes to mind. Later revealed to be Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler was responsible for the murders of 13 women in the Boston, MA region during the 1960s. Additionally, there were two murders originally attributed to DeSalvo that ultimately remained unsolved (via The Boston Globe). Overall, the details sound pretty similar to the official synopsis of "Neponset Circle."

Who is starring in Neponset Circle?

It's not yet clear which roles Guy Pearce and Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be playing, but we can guess that they will be the two detectives at the heart of the movie: Jimmy O'Mannon and Ray Delaney. Of course, Pearce has played many haunted men in the past (the protagonist of "Memento" comes to mind); as such, he appears to be a great fit for O'Mannon. Additionally, Pearce has appeared in crime thrillers in the past — including "Mare of Easttown" most recently — and will fit right in with the movie's proceedings.

Morgan, on the other hand, has built his career on mostly television roles. His first big break was as the tragic Denny Duquette on "Grey's Anatomy," whereas most recently he turned heads in his multiple-season run as Negan Smith on "The Walking Dead." He will next appear in season 4 of "The Boys."

Who is directing Neponset Circle?

As it turns out, "Neponset Circle" is something of a reunion for many of those involved. In addition to the pairing of cinematographer Toby Oliver and Guy Pearce, who previously collaborated on 2011's "22 Postcards," there's the reunion of Pearce with Pauline Chan, the director of the new film. Perhaps not coincidentally, Chan directed both Pearce and Oliver in "22 Postcards." Before that, Chan directed several films in the 1990s, including the TV movie "Little White Lies," starring Mimi Rogers.

The Exchange — a production company that represented "Neponset Circle" at the American Film Market — released a statement about Chan prior to the event. "With this thrilling and bone chilling mystery at its core, audiences across the world will flock to Pauline's fresh vision, which will be executed by Guy Pierce and Jeffery Dean Morgan who couldn't be more perfectly cast in their roles," said Nat McCormick, who serves as president of worldwide sales and distribution at The Exchange. In other words, there's plenty of optimism surrounding this project, which should in turn excite fans of Pearce and Morgan.

But as we await a trailer — or further details on the film's plot — we'll have to settle for old clips of Pearce charming Kate Winslet's pants off in "Mare of Easttown."