Dakota Johnson & Sean Penn Join Forces For New Film, Daddio

By Rufus Punt | 7th September 2023
Daddio Film

There are plenty of great looking films that are still to come this year, but one that’s got us curious more than most is Daddio, a film that brings together three intriguing elements: Sean Penn , Dakota Johnson and a fateful cab ride across New York.

The directorial debut of writer Christy Hall (I Am Not OK With This), the film sees Penn play Johnson’s cabbie, as the two’s driver-passenger conversation becomes deeper and more intimate than either of them expect.

What is Daddio about?

Last year saw Johnson try her hand at Jane Austen in Netflix’s modern take on Persuasion, while Penn was unrecognisable in the Julia Roberts Watergate series Gaslit, but Daddio sees both in quite different roles.

At JFK airport, a woman departing the airport (Johnson) hails a cab and gets picked up by a driver (Penn), who before long strikes up a conversation with her.

In the film’s first look images, Johnson looks very different with dyed blonde hair and a dark leather jacket. Penn’s driver looks as nondescript as you’d expect a New York cabbie to be but there’s an air of mystery to both of them. What follows is around 90 minutes of the two talking in the taxi, with the pair sharing pretty much everything, from their romantic lives to insecurities.

What else do we know?

Daddio is thoughtful and meditative and focuses purely on their meeting. In fact, there are no other actors even in the film.

Hall told Entertainment Weekly that the anonymous nature of a cabbie allows you to “bare your soul…because you know you’re never going to see them again.”

The film’s script began life as an idea for a stage play, with the simple setting, intimate nature and limited characters carrying over to the final film incarnation. Hall also explained that both characters are complex and sometimes conflicting, with Johnson’s character being confident, vulnerable and foul-mouthed, as well as having a softness to her. The cab driver meanwhile is both intelligent and stuck in his ways, as well as both hardened and understanding.

Is there a release date?

While we’ve only got these details and first-look images for now and no trailer, we won’t have long to wait to see what Daddio has in store for the taxi’s occupants. The film is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is currently slated to release sometime later this year.

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