David O. Russell nails down new projects
For several years it appeared that David O. Russell had lost his way. The outspoken filmmaker, who famously brawled with his star George Clooney during Three Kings and was recorded swapping expletives with cast members during the shoot of I Heart Huckabees, had to abandon several years of work when a black comedy, Nailed, actually shut down mid-shoot due to financial issues despite a cast that included Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal. Russell bounced back with The Fighter, a film that felt like his for at least the first two acts, but which nonetheless shone with great, lived-in performances, and since then he's been making up for lost time.
Russell's next picture is completed, with Silver Linings Playbook due for release in Australia at the end of November. Adapted by Russell from Matthew Quick's novel, it stars Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, Limitless) as a teacher recovering from a mental breakdown who moves back in with his Italian-American parents, who will be played by the fascinating combination of Robert De Niro (Raging Bull, Meet the Parents) and Australia's own Jackie Weaver (Animal Kingdom, pictured). Complications come in the form of a fellow outsider, to be played by Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: First Class, The Hunger Games).
Cooper, an actor who is trying to turn his easy charm and comedic shtick into a meatier career, obviously enjoyed the David O. Russell experience (not everyone does), because he's now looking to star in the director's next movie, American Bullshit. Based on the real life story of an FBI sting that targeted America's Congress in 1980, Cooper would portray a gifted grifter who has to help an FBI agent, to be played by the suddenly everywhere Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers), con Washington politicians. Renner is replacing a now unavailable Christian Bale, who earned a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for The Fighter, but another star of the boxing biopic, Amy Adams, will feature in American Bullshit as Cooper's mistress.
Oz in RPatz's future
Australian filmmaker David Michôd's much anticipated follow-up to Animal Kingdom continues to take shape: The Rover has been approved for Screen Australia funding, with the film described as a “near-future western” set in the Australian outback. Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Prometheus) will reportedly play a man pursuing criminals who stole his car and the valuable item it contains, and the supporting cast will include Robert Pattinson, the Twilight star who has just graduated to a David Cronenberg film (Cosmopolis) and probably needs to keep busy.
Jason Reitman adapts to the road
Jason Reitman works quietly and quickly. Following on from the likes of Juno, Up in the Air and, most recently, Young Adult, the American writer-director is now at work on an adaptation of the Joyce Maynard novel Labor Day. The story of a single mother and her young son who give a wounded stranger a ride, unaware that the police are searching for him, the film has been cast with Kate Winslet (Titanic, Contagion) as Adele, the mother, and Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, Men in Black 3) as the interloper. Tobey Maguire (Spider-man, The Great Gatsby) will also feature, whether as narrator or in flash forwards, as a grown version of Adele's son.