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Shea Whigham Joins David O. Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Shea Whigham Joins David O. Russell's 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Shea Whigham isn’t exactly a household name you’d instantly recognize, but a quick look at his resume will certainly ring some bells for anyone with a keen eye for the small or silver screen. At least in this writer’s eyes, the actor has been doing strong work on a weekly basis as Eli Thompson, the younger brother of Steve Buscemi‘s protagonist Nucky on HBO show “Boardwalk Empire” with appearances in several films already this year, including “Take Shelter,” “The Lincoln Lawyer” and “This Must Be The Place.”

Whigham now looks to be spreading his wings even further, booking a role on David O. Russell‘s follow-up to “The Fighter” with his adaptation of Matthew Quick‘s “The Silver-Linings Playbook,” starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

While no details were unveiled on the exact role Whigham will take on in the film, he joins an already eclectic cast, which includes Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver, Julia Stiles and John Ortiz, for the story of a former high school teacher (Cooper) who, after being released from a four-year stint in a mental institution, moves back in with his mother and seeks to reinvent himself, finding the titular silver linings in his life. Here’s the full synopsis courtesy of Amazon:

During the years he spends in a neural health facility, Pat Peoples formulates a theory about silver linings: he believes his life is a movie produced by God, his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki; his old friends are saddled with families; the Philadelphia Eagles keep losing, making his father moody; and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

When Pat meets the tragically widowed and clinically depressed Tiffany, she offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife, if only he will give up watching football, agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition, and promise not to tell anyone about their “contract.” All the while, Pat keeps searching for his silver lining.

It certainly seems to be in the O. Russell wheelhouse, so we’ll be expecting the usual chaos and hilarity to ensue; set photos of Cooper wearing a garbage bag seem to hint at that as well. Lensing on the project is currently taking place with The Weinstein Company on board to release the film in the latter part of 2012.

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