Amy Adams channels her inner beast as she takes on a unique role in Hulu’s upcoming film adaptation of Nightbitch. The Disenchanted Star has been busy, returning for the hotly requested Enchanted sequel after a stint as Lois Lane in the DC Extended Universe and a host of streaming and independent projects. Despite some poorly-received missteps in Hillbilly Elegy and Dear Evan Hansen, the six-time Oscar nominee has proven to be a consistently excellent performer. Rom-coms and family movies like the original Enchanted, Leap Year, and The Muppets defined much of Adams’ early career, but the actress has settled into a more dynamic range as of late. Her role opposite Superman in Justice League and films like American Hustle, The Master, Vice, Arrival, and Nocturnal Animals have shown a more dramatic side of Adams’ acting abilities. While much of her success has come from supporting roles, she is a capable leading lady and will look to demonstrate that in a new film that is a little out of her wheelhouse.
Adams will star in the “darkly comic neo-horror” film Nightbitch, a film adaptation of Rachel Yoder’s debut novel of the same name. The book follows a suburban stay-at-home mom who believes she is turning into a canine, exhibiting feral tendencies as she grapples with childcare and a tiring, traditional family structure. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood director Marielle Heller helms this strange tale of motherhood, sold worldwide for over $25 million to Searchlight Pictures from Annapurna.
The casting feels incredibly fitting, seeing as Adams recently played a “stay-at-home” mom (who is technically agoraphobic) in The Woman in the Window, another of her more emotionally demanding performances. But despite her experience in more streamlined thrillers and black comedies, Adams’ exposure to the horror genre is practically nonexistent save for a small part in the horror parody Psycho Beach Party in 2000, the second acting gig of her career. Heller, however, is confident about her performance, saying, “Adapting [Nightbitch] with Amy Adams in mind has been the thing that has kept me going through the pandemic.” Adams has come into her own since Psycho Beach Party, establishing herself as one of Hollywood’s most versatile actresses, so her lack of experience in horror should hardly be a hindrance given the film’s blend of genres. With two acclaimed female filmmakers on board, Nightbitch could be one of the best Hulu Originals so far, but maybe only if they can circumvent some of the criticisms given by book readers. Whereas the metamorphosis to a dog is the hook, the difficulty of motherhood stood as the most intriguing element in many reviews, but others just found the book dull. If Nightbitch turns out to be a well-paced movie, Heller’s emotional directing style and Adams’ firey interpretation of Yoder’s character could give audiences the exciting adaptation they desire.