Aimee Lou Wood and Matt Dillon have signed on to play Anna and Fyodor Dostoevsky in Małgorzata Szumowska’s The Gambler Wife.’

Written by Szumowska and Kasper Bajon adapted from Andrew D. Kaufman’s book The Gambler Wife: A True Story of Love, Risk and the Woman Who Saved Dostoyevsky, is a dark comedy about one of literature’s most towering figures.

The project follows Fyodor, or Fyedya to his intimates, and his much younger, pregnant wife, Anna, as they travel to Switzerland for their honeymoon. Anna tolerates Fyedya’s gambling addiction as this will serve as inspiration for his burgeoning literary career. However, Fyedya’s compulsive roulette playing continues to cause problems for the couple until they are forced to return to a Russia that is not quite as they remember.

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Szumowska describes the feature as “a dark comedy that explores the patriarchal, nationalistic Russian identity which keeps on waging the war between the West and the East which is as relevant today as it was two hundred years ago.”

Ilya Stewart and Klaudia Smieja-Rostworowska are producing with Matt Dillon, Nick Schumaker, Jim Stark and Aleksandr Fomin as Executive Producers. The film, which will see Szumowska collaborate with her long-time cinematographer Michal Englert, is expected to shoot in the second quarter of 2024.