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‘The Artist’ Director Michel Hazanavicius Eyes Former Dayton/Faris High-Concept Comedy ‘Will’

'The Artist' Director Michel Hazanavicius Eyes Former Dayton/Faris High-Concept Comedy 'Will'

Way back in 2010 we wrote about “Will,” a clever script by Demetri Martin that was then looking like the follow-up to “Little Miss Sunshine” for directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton. Back then it starred Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis as characters living in a world devoid of free-will, with every moment of your life is preordained by “angelic scribes.” Of course things change when Will (who would’ve been played by Rudd), turns 34 and finds out that his life has opened up and that he’s actually free to do whatever he wants. Adam McKay and Will Ferrell were set to produce through their Gary Sanchez shingle and then… nothing. Dayton and Faris ended up making this year’s terrific “Ruby Sparks” and “Will” was never heard from again. Until now. According to Deadline, Paramount has taken a renewed interest in “Will” and so has the recently Oscar-winning director of “The Artist,” Michel Hazanavicius.

The site’s literally three sentence “report” offers little else, but we’ve got a gut feeling we’re right on this one. But, if this were to happen, it would follow “a pic about an NGO worker in Chechyna” that is actually a retelling of Fred Zinneman’s 1958 Oscar-winning post-war drama “The Search.” The original involved a Czech mother and son who were lost and then reconnect after surviving a concentration camp, but Hazanavicius is going to update the story and change the setting to Chechnya. Hazanavicius’ wife and “Artist” co-star Berenice Bejo would play the female lead, a worker for an NGO, who befriends a young boy. It will be in color and have sync sound.

Back in 2010 we wondered if a light script punch-up wouldn’t solve some of the  baggier sections of Martin’s screenplay, and we wonder what revisions and changes have gone on in the two years since the project was originally set to roll. Hazanavicius will undoubtedly put his own personal stamp on the project if he does in fact decide to helm it.

A start date for “The Search” has yet to be finalized, but when you’ve become Hollywood’s golden boy nearly overnight, you can take your sweet time.

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