Aaron Taylor-Johnson is going to some dark places for his latest film.
Directed by his wife, Samantha Taylor-Johnson (“Nowhere Boy”), “A Million Little Pieces” is based on James Frey’s controversial “memoir” chronicling the writer’s struggle with addiction and life-changing stint in a Minnesota rehab facility.
“An alcoholic and a drug addict, 23 year-old James has two options: treatment or death,” reads the film’s synopsis. “After waking up on a plane with a smashed up face and no memory of the past few weeks, he heads to rehab where he discovers much more than detox and therapy. As James endures the white-knuckle journey of mending his broken body, he heals his broken soul by connecting with other kindred spirits who also yearn and fight for a better life.”
“A Million Little Things” also stars Billy Bob Thornton, Juliette Lewis, Odessa Young, Giovanni Ribisi and Charlie Hunnam.
Frey’s bestselling 2003 book became mired in controversy in 2006 when Frey was forced to admit that A Million Little Pieces was more fiction than memoir, including numerous events that never actually happened, leading him to be excoriated by Oprah Winfrey during a TV interview.
For the film’s director, however, the controversy over the book doesn’t negate its power. “I remember hearing about the controversy and watching it, and feeling the pain of what he experienced and what was happening,” Samantha Taylor-Johnson told Vanity Fair. “But realizing it didn’t affect my experience of the book. I enjoyed the creative spirit in which he wrote it.”
“A Million Little Pieces” comes to theatres on Dec. 6.