Back at TIFF in September, Jason Bateman arrived to show off his directorial debut, “Bad Words.” The foul-mouthed, acidic comedy wasn’t one we particularly cared for, but as we noted in our review, it showed that Bateman could “could put together 90 minutes of a story tightly and cohesively.” And it seems that for Nicole Kidman, that’s good enough.
You never know which of the many projects the actress has percolating will suddenly move forward, and today it’s “The Family Fang,” as Bateman has been tapped to direct. The film has been brewing since 2011, and is an adaptation of the Kevin Wilson bestseller which follows a couple of performance artists who regularly use their children as part of their bizarre acts during their formative years. When the now fully grown children return home at the height of a family crisis, they are once again recruited to help in the dangerous execution of a mysterious final performance by their parents, looking to end their lives on a high note.
It sounds right in the kind of high-concept wheelhouse as Bateman’s “Bad Words,” so it seems like a good fit. But either way, it’s a big step up for the actor-turned-director as he heads into his sophomore helming gig, and he’ll be working with some good material too: Pulitizer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole,” “Oz The Great And Powerful“) penned the script. Production will kick off next year. [Deadline]