It's Oscar® week! Even those of us who claim not to care about such things get a little caught up in the excitement, and at least one of these upcoming projects seems like it would be a solid contender for future awards.
Future Academy Awards Fodder
Director David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence, both nominated this year for Silver Linings Playbook, are planning to work together again on Russell's awesome-sounding, though untitled, ABSCAM satire with Christian Bale. Also, The Weinstein Company has picked up the rights to Lawrence's next project, scripted by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Argo, Chris Terrio. Entitled The Ends of the Earth, the movie will be about a powerful tycoon who loses everything due to a passionate love affair, I'm guessing with Lawrence's character. This seems like a pretty solid assemblage of talents, and with Harvey Weinstein working his magic, we can expect it to be an awards contender someday.
David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence (Getty)
As for Bale, according to Deadline, he should follow up Russell's project with Everest, a docudrama about the tragic 1996 mountain climbing disaster that cost the lives of eight adventurers. Universal Pictures and Working Title are backing the movie, and Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband) is set to direct. It's the same story that Jon Krakauer told in his first-hand account of survival, Into Thin Air, but taken from different sources. Justin Isbell wrote the most recent draft of the script. It's an amazing and tragic story, and with Bale on board, maybe they'll do it justice.
Birbiglia's Wakes Up and Smells His Next Movie
Standup raconteur Mike Birbiglia had some success with Sleepwalk With Me, his first feature as writer, director and star. He spoke to The Hollywood Reporter at the WGA awards about his next project, a re-titled cinematic adaptation of his other one-man show, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. Like Sleepwalk, it's completely autobiographical, this time examining Birbiglia's comic romantic foibles. I think Birbiglia is a talented comic and Sleepwalk was a competently made and fairly amusing movie, for the most part. I'm interested in seeing how his filmmaking career progresses.
Jason Lee Asks for Seconds
In television news, the likeable Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) is set to star in the CBS pilot for Second Sight, based on the BBC crime drama. Michael Cuesta (Homeland) and Carol Mendelsohn (CSI) created the adaptation and Cuesta is directing the pilot from a script he wrote with his brother Gerald (Roadie). Lee stars as a New Orleans detective heading up a task force investigating the brutal murder of a teenage boy. The detective starts having hallucinations, and learns that he's going blind, but tries to cover up his ailment until the case is solved. I like Lee, but if he's the American version of Clive Owen, who starred in the BBC show, I'm not sure I like what that says about America.
Ari Has a Good Time Being Bad
Last year's For a Good Time, Call... was a surprisingly enjoyable indie comedy about two women starting a phone sex business. The star of that movie, Ari Graynor, has landed the lead role in the CBS comedy pilot Bad Teacher, based on the not-quite-so-enjoyable 2011 movie starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. The talented Graynor, also of Fringe, will take over Diaz's role as a former trophy wife who begins a teaching career hoping to meet a rich single dad. Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, who wrote the movie script, are producing the pilot, written by Hilary Winston (Happy Endings, Community) and directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock). Throw in co-star David Alan Grier and I think there's some potential here, despite the relative mediocrity of the source material.
Are you looking forward to any of these? Which one sounds the most intriguing? Please let me know in the comments below.