After Lee Daniels wrangled a losing political battle over the title of “The Butler” into a domestic box office take upwards of $100 million, he’s found himself with a bit of studio wiggle room and an array of projects from which to choose. This being the man who helmed the wonky fever dream spectacle “The Paperboy” though, the chances of the director playing it rather safe again are rather slim, and sure enough he’s hinted at a new genre project that doesn’t reveal its subversion until late in the game.
Apparently Daniels and “Magic Mike” actor Alex Pettyfer clicked creatively when he starred as a slave-driver amidst a cast of dozens in this year’s White House drama, because now the director has decided to place him center stage in his new film. In an interview with Out Magazine, Daniels revealed that he’s cast Pettyfer as one-half of a interracial male couple in what he describes as a “gay ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith,’ except [with] the two good-looking guys as the action heroes.” However, Daniels may have been a bit too excited to disclose the premise, because he adds “we don’t find out they’re gay until the end of the movie.” Well, perhaps a bit sooner than that now.
The as-yet-untitled project is still in development, so it remains to be seen if Daniels’ vision will coalesce into a full reality, but he still remains optimistic that the unconventional material with Pettyfer will succeed past the waves of timid executives. “I don’t think I’m going to have a problem now. I made a $100 million for ‘The Butler’. I’m in a rare group. So this is something I feel good about.” But first, Daniels has to “find the right black guy opposite him,” so place your bets now who will match and hopefully raise Pettyfer’s charisma in the final film. [via The Film Stage]