Elisabeth Moss portrays horror novelist Shirley Jackson in the upcoming film Shirley, out June 5th.
Directed by Josephine Decker and executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, the trailer features Moss’ Jackson sitting in an armchair at a cocktail party as a guest asks her what she’s writing next. “A little novella called none of your goddamn business,” she quips.
A newlywed couple — portrayed by Logan Lerman and Odessa Young — moves in with Jackson and her husband, Stanley Hyman (played by Michael Stuhlbarg), just as the writer is working on her next book. “I read your novel,” Young’s character tells Jackson, as chaos ensues over a string arrangement. “It made me feel thrillingly horrible.”
“Shirley Jackson was a wildly unorthodox human and storyteller,” Decker said in a statement. “Encountering her work was like finding a map toward becoming the kind of artist I would like to be. Daring. Intimate. Structured yet dreamlike.”
“Shirley’s work rides on the skin between imagined and real, seducing with its oddness and humble cracks until you can’t tell if you’re looking up the stairwell or into your own mouth,” she added. “I felt strongly that this film needed to feel like a Shirley Jackson story.”
Jackson died in 1965 at the age of 48. Her most famous novel, 1959’s The Haunting of Hill House, was adapted into a Netflix series in 2018. Directed by Mike Flanagan, it starred Henry Thomas, Carla Gugino, Victoria Pedretti and others.