In his first starring role since “Girls” took off, Adam Driver, a.k.a. Lena Dunham’s obsessive ex on the show, will star in period comedy “The Coward” (not “Coward” as Deadline reported) by “Ceremony” director Max Winkler. Driver will play Lucidus, a nobleman in 18th century England who is forced into a duel but sheepishly sends a criminal in his place. The criminal continues to win subsequent duels, and usurps the nobleman’s identity altogether.
Driver is definitely becoming a hot ticket. Aside from his recurring role on “Girls,” he was most recently seen as a soldier in “Lincoln,” and will next appear in the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” alongside fellow “Girls” actor Alex Karpovsky. He is also currently shooting “Tracks,” with Mia Wasikowksa, in which he portrays a real-life National Geographic photographer who documents a woman’s journey across 1,700 miles of Australian desert on camels. While his propensity for explosive energy and hysterics would cause us to more readily envision him as the showboating criminal in this upcoming project, he has also certainly proven that he can play the victim and make that just as magnetically watchable, so we’re thinking he’ll kill it in “The Coward.”
The plot of “The Coward” has been likened to a cross between Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” and “Trading Places.” What’s more, we chatted with Winkler ever so briefly about the film, its tone and approach. ” I think the best way to describe it is ‘Trading Places’ meets ‘Barry Lyndon’ by way of early Woody Allen‘s ‘Love and Death,’ ‘Play it Again, Sam‘ etc.,” he said. “Tonally, it should feel funny and strange, but also honest. It’s about taking responsibility for yourself and shirking the restraints and expectations of society in order to live the life you really want.”
Ambitious stuff to be sure. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of casting shapes up, but the fact that Driver chose the project at such a high point in his career bodes well.