After bursting onto the scene with “Half Nelson,” which featured a career-making turn by Ryan Gosling, filmmaking duo Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden haven’t exactly lived up to those heights, with the criminally underrated “Sugar” flying below the radar, and the lightweight “Kind Of A Funny Story” not quite landing with the force some were expecting. The filmmakers, however, have a new, exciting project in the works.
Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to star in “Mississippi Grind,” which will tell the story of a down-on-his-luck gambler facing crushing debt, who teams up with Gyllenhaal’s character, a gambling addict, in an attempt to change his luck. The two then set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what has been lost. Sounds like a hugely promising gambling/road trip/buddy film, with the more senior lead described as a “plum role” for a 40-something actor.
Fleck and Boden will once again helm from their own original script, with Gyllenhaal certainly being given an opportunity to shine here. Counterpart Gosling was nothing short of great under the pair’s direction with his performance in “Half Nelson” culminating in an Oscar nomination and widespread acclaim. “Mississippi Grind” will reteaming Fleck and Boden with their producers on their first film, Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell (Derek Cianfrance‘s “Blue Valentine” and “The Place Beyond The Pines“). No word yet on when the low budget film (it will cost under $10 million) will start shooting. [THR]