Poor Peter Bogdanovich. When was the last time the well-respected filmmaker made a narrative feature that remotely moved the needle (let’s not include the good doc, “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream“)? “Cat’s Meow” in 2001, which wasn’t very good? And before that, “Mask” in 1985? The well-liked filmmaker, actor and cinephile has had a pretty rough go of it in Hollywood (an unimpeachable beginning, a quick fall from grace), but perhaps his upcoming picture will be a late-era comeback?
It certainly has no shortage of talent involved. Produced by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach and formerly titled, “Squirrel to the Nuts,” Jennifer Aniston has joined the retitled “She’s Funny That Way.” Also new to the cast that already features an impressive foursome of Owen Wilson, Olivia Wilde, Brie Larson, and Jason Schwartzman are Bogdanovich’s former muse Cybil Shepherd, comedian Eugene Levy and up and coming comedianne Kathryn Hahn (who we listed in our 10 Undervalued Actors Who Deserve To Get More Work feature from late 2012; she also had a standout turn in the 2013 Sundance film, “Afternoon Delight“).
Written by 73-year-old Bogdanovich and Louise Stratten (the filmmaker’s ex-wife), “She’s Funny That Way” tells the story of a married Broadway director (Wilson) who falls for a prostitute-turned-actress and works to advance her career. Don’t assume Aniston will play the streetwalker. She will actually play a therapist whose mother is in rehab for alcoholism. Principal photography will begin in June in New York. [THR]