Peacock (2010 film)

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Peacock film.jpg
Directed by Michael Lander
Produced by Barry Mendel
Written by Michael Lander
Ryan Roy
Starring Cillian Murphy
Ellen Page
Susan Sarandon
Josh Lucas
Bill Pullman
Music by Brian Reitzell
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Edited by Sally Menke
Jeffrey M. Werner
Distributed by Mandate Pictures
Release dates
  • April 20, 2010 (2010-04-20)
Running time
1 hour 31 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Peacock is a 2010 American psychological thriller directed by Michael Lander, written by Lander and Ryan Roy, and starring Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page and Susan Sarandon.[1] It was editor Sally Menke's final film.


John Skillpa, a quiet bank clerk living in tiny Peacock, Nebraska, prefers to live an invisible life in order to hide his secret: He has multiple personality disorder, the implied result of childhood trauma inflicted by his abusive mother. His alter ego is a woman, Emma, who each morning does his chores and cooks him breakfast before he starts the day. One day while he is out of his house as Emma, a freight train caboose derails and crashes into John's backyard.

When his neighbors come to the scene, "Emma" enters his house, putting John's other life into the spotlight, so he is forced to tell his neighbors that Emma is his wife, married in secrecy. Forced to fool the town into believing he and his alter ego are man and wife, John and Emma must maintain their secret while in public view.

A young and struggling single mother, Maggie, holds the key to John's past and sparks a battle between the personalities where Emma begins to take over John's life completely.


  • Cillian Murphy as John Skillpa, a "retiring, shy and completely nondescript bank employee" leading a double life as Emma, his female alter ego.[2] Murphy stated that "Peacock stunned me as a script from start to finish. It offers an incredible challenge to an actor — one I couldn't turn down."[3]
  • Ellen Page as Maggie,[2] a struggling young mother who holds the key to John's past and sparks a battle between the personalities.[3] Page commented, "This is one of the boldest screenplays I've come across in my albeit short career; it's a character and story I can throw myself into and exactly the type of movie I love to be a part of."[4]
  • Susan Sarandon as Fanny Crill, the wife of Peacock's mayor, who also runs a local woman's shelter.[5] Sarandon has said that Peacock is "a very strange little piece — kind of ominous."[6]
  • Bill Pullman as Edmund French, John's boss.[5] Pullman has described Peacock as "a very interesting script," explaining that his role "is another character hiding the fact he's the closest one like [Skillpa]. It's a very different part for me."[7]
  • Josh Lucas as Tom McGonigle, a local police officer and the closest thing John has to a friend.[8]
  • Keith Carradine as Mayor Ray Crill
  • Paul Cram as Kenny, a local store clerk.[citation needed]

Casting calls for extras and other minor roles were made in the Des Moines, Iowa area in April 2008.[9]

Production and filming[edit]

Though set in small-town Nebraska,[3] Peacock was filmed in Iowa: Filming began on May 6, 2008 in Odebolt, in Sac County, while Greenfield and Adair County also staged production for several days, including scenes in Greenfield's town square and its E.E. Warren Opera House.[10][11] Filming was scheduled to continue on June 5, 2008 in Boone, Iowa, but due to weather conditions, Cornfield Productions was forced to delay filming until the following day; the filming ended on June 9.[10]

The filming of the train derailment scene occurred at a local set of train tracks; line producer Brian Bell explained that this particular shot was a "visual effects" shot, where the train would eventually be digitally edited to appear as if it is passing through Skillpa's backyard, even though it is not physically there. Although the shooting took four hours to complete, it only comprises about 10 to 15 seconds of the film.[10]


  1. ^ "New Clip from Lionsgate's Latest Thriller Peacock". Dread Central. Dread Central Inc. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  2. ^ a b "PMS Casting - Casting Calls - Peacock". PMS Casting. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  3. ^ a b c Siegel, Tatiana (2008-02-14). "Page, Murphy set for 'Peacock'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  4. ^ Liam. "Ellen Page and Cillian Murphy Ready for Peacock". Filmonic. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman and Ellen Page Join "Peacock"". ARTISTdirect. ARTISTdirect, Inc. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  6. ^ Beck, Marilyn (2008-08-25). "One Time Co-Star of Ryan Gosling and Life Achievement Honoree Rowlands in No Hurry for Next Job". The National Ledger. The National Ledger, LLC. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  7. ^ Beck, Marilyn (2008-08-28). "Bill Pullman Pulls Festival Duty Again". The National Ledger. The National Ledger, LLC. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  8. ^ "Susan Sarandon and Josh Lucas flock to "Peacock"". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  9. ^ Clark, Eric (2008-04-03). "Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival brings 40 locally grown titles to town". The Gazette. Gazette Communications. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  10. ^ a b c Oliver, Matt (2008-06-09). "Lights, camera, Boone". Boone News Republic. Iowa Newspapers, Inc. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  11. ^ "Iowa Town Becomes Scene of Hollywood Film". KMEG. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 

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