The film's portrayal of the acclaimed horror author is based on a work fiction but draws heavily from her troubled life.
You may not know much about author Shirley Jackson, but you're almost certainly familiar with some of her work
Her novel The Haunting of Hill House is one of the best and most influential ghost stories of all time and has seen numerous adaptations, including the 2018 hit Netflix series of the same name. Her short story "The Lottery" has been taught to generations of high school students as a quintessential parable on the dangers of conformity and tradition. But if you can believe Elisabeth Moss' (The Handmaid's Tale, The Invisible Man) portrayal of the author in the new trailer for Shirley, her writing was far from the most frightening aspect of her life.
SHIRLEY Trailer - Available Everywhere June 5 www.youtube.com
Based on the 2014 novel by Susan Scarf Merrell, Shirley imagines a sinister version of Jackson's fraught marriage to literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman. It's true that the couple maintained an open marriage (which was a frequent source of tension between them), that they both had somewhat twisted senses of humor, and that Jackson struggled a great deal with her mental health–but the new film from director Josephine Decker (Madeline's Madeline) transforms that foundation into the a psychological thriller. With Moss as a convincing stand-in for Jackson, the film tells the story of Rose and Fred Nemser, a young couple lured by Jackson and Hyman into a sadistic web of manipulation and madness.
In the trailer Hyman, played by Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, Call Me by Your Name), compares their exploits to "the Scottish play," and Jackson asserts that "Freud would have had a field day." Whatever the reality of the events the movie is based on, it seems clear that Moss' performance of a dark, unhinged genius will make for gripping viewing when the the movie receives a digital release on June 5th.