John Krasinski seemed poised to break out back when “The Office” was in its heyday. He’s starred in movies directed by George Clooney, Sam Mendes, and Gus Van Sant; he even tried his hand at directing back in 2009 with “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.” Unfortunately, none of these movies managed to gain much of an audience. Van Sant’s “Promised Land,” which Krasinski co-wrote with Matt Damon, was completely ignored during awards season two years ago.
That said, with “The Office” having wrapped up over a year ago, it seems Krasinski wants to give directing another shot. The actor has signed onto direct and star in “The Hollars” with Anna Kendrick, Richard Jenkins, and Margo Martindale all set to star in the film as well. Krasinski will play John Hollar, an aspiring artist who takes his girlfriend (Kendrick) back to his hometown in Middle America before his mother has brain surgery. While there, he’s forced to reevaluate the life he left behind. This is some pretty worn out territory with “Garden State,” “Elizabethtown” and “Junebug” having covered very similar ground about ten years ago. The script was penned by James C. Strouse (“Grace Is Gone”), and hopefully Krasinski can put an interesting spin on the material. [Deadline]
Speaking of actor-directors, Jason Bateman already has something in the works for his directorial project. You may remember his debut film as a director, “Bad Words,” came out just two months ago. And while that film did not make a huge splash in the box office, he seems to have plenty of financial backers for his next project, “The Family Fang.” Thus far, the cast for “The Family Fang” features Bateman, Nicole Kidman, and now, Christopher Walken and the script was written by David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole”). Based on the novel by Kevin WIlson, Bateman and Kidman play siblings who grew up in a performance artist family and are forced to learn how to live in the real world after their parents disappear. Production is set to begin in July. [Variety]
This next director is also about to embark on his second film, but he’s not an established actor like Bateman or Krasinski. French-Canadian filmmaker Guy Édoin made quite a splash at the 2011 Venice Film Festival with his debut film “Wetlands” and now he’s recruited Monica Bellucci to star in his sophomore feature “Ville-Marie.” “Ville-Marie” centers on four separate characters whose lives intersect at the Ville-Marie hospital. Bellucci plays Sophie, a French actress who’s making a movie in Montreal and hopes to patch her relationship with her son as he wishes to discover the true identity of his father. [Screen Daily]
Lastly, Paolo Sorrentino‘s already stacked “Youth” — Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel and Paul Dano — has added Jane Fonda to the cast. The story follows “Fred and Mick, two old friends approaching 80, who are on vacation together in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is retired, but film director Mick is still working. The friends contemplate their children’s lives, Mick’s enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests as they face their future. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of returning to music. But someone wants at all costs to hear his compositions and to see him conduct again.” Production begins later this month. [Deadline]