Clearly, Jack Black made one too many “Gulliver’s Travels” or “A Big Year” — in the last twelve months or so, the comic star (who just released a new record under his Tenacious D guise) has veered mostly away from big studio comedies to more interesting sounding indie-type projects, like Richard Linklater‘s recent, and very charming “Bernie,” prospective Michael Winterbottom project “Bailout,” and Charlie Kaufman‘s “Frank or Francis.” And now, there’s another one on his dance card that sounds pretty promising, all in all.
Screen Daily report that the actor is in talks to join Howard Deutch‘s “Wild Oats,” which would see him reteam with his “Bernie” co-star Shirley MacLaine, as well as the great Alan Arkin and “Animal Kingdom” Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver. The film stars MacLaine and Weaver as two best friends who leave their small Ohio town for Las Vegas after MacLaine’s character accidentally receives a Social Security check for $900,000. Once there, however, they come across a trio of conman out to rip them off. There’s no word what role Black (or indeed Arkin) might play, but we suspect it’s one of the conmen; we’re sure it’ll become clear in time exactly what part he’s circling.
The project’s gone through a number of incarnations in the past: Christopher Walken, Maria Bello, Christina Ricci, John Corbett and Bill Pullman were all attached to the film back in the day, but seem to have fallen off over time. Nevertheless, there’s a pretty great cast shaping up, and Dimension Films seem to agree, as the company picked up the project last month. Our only reservation right now is director Deutch, who might have directed “Pretty In Pink” 25 years ago, but has more recent credits like “The Odd Couple II,” “The Whole Ten Yards” and “My Best Friend’s Girl.” Hopefully he’s got a stronger script this time around, and the talent attracted to the project certainly seems to suggest that’s the case. Filming is planned to get underway in July.