David O. Russell might have turned into an Academy Awards favorite — he’s up for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for “American Hustle,” which is vying for eight additional trophies this Sunday — but here’s a reminder that for every Russell project that comes to fruition, there’s another that doesn’t.
Russell has dropped out of “The Club,” the ABC drama that received a straight to series order in January. The show is an upstairs/downstairs drama set at a private country club, and has just begun the casting process.
The director was set to serve as executive producer alongside Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman and “Erin Brockovich” scribe Susannah Grant, who co-wrote the story with Russell. Grant and company will move forward with the project without him.
To be fair, Russell had hinted that his involvement might be limited, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he didn’t feel the show could be his vision without him committing to it completely. “I was in delusion that I could do both. It was an illusion. I woke up and said, ‘What am I going to do, stop making feature films? Are you crazy?’ This is the height of my work right now. I’m not going to stop that.”
Still, “The Club” joins “Uncharted,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and his troubled not-quite-completed feature “Nailed” on the list of projects dropped by the increasingly busy and in-demand director in the past five years. Anyone anticipating Russell’s TV debut might not want to hold their breath.