How do you follow a giant hit like “The Hangover” franchise? Despite the commercially disappointing third film in the series, Todd Phillips’ Wolf Pack series is one of the most successful comedies in film history, but it appears that he’s looking to step away from the comedy genre.
Since the release of “The Hangover Part III,” Phililps has become attached to thriller “Trust Your Eyes” and an adaptation of pulp hero Mack Bolan that would potentially reteam him “Hangover” star Bradley Cooper (with whom he’s co-founded the production company Green Hat). But it looks like another project may come first, as Phillips is gearing up to direct the true-life tale “Arms & The Dude.”
Based on a Rolling Stone article and adapted by “Lucky Number Slevin” scribe Jason Smilovic, the film tells the story of two stoners who semi-accidentally become arms dealers in Afghanistan. And though Jonah Hill was circling the project recently, Deadline report that Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf are in talks for the lead roles.
Our guess is that this is closer to “Argo” in tone than, say, “Dude Where’s My Armaments,” but Eisenberg and LaBeouf can each handle comedy and drama, and we expect they’ll get to do a little of both. And in LaBeouf’s case, possibly put a paper bag on his head. Warner Bros. are backing, though there’s no word on when it’ll start filming.
Meanwhile, Julia Roberts has, per THR, has joined Chiwetel Ejiofor and Gwyneth Paltrow in Billy Ray‘s long-gestating remake of Argentinean Oscar-winning thriller “The Secret In Their Eyes.” Ejiofor plays an FBI agent struggling to get over the murder of his daughter, while Roberts takes the part of his ex-partner, which was originally written as male (shooting has evidently moved from Boston to Los Angeles to accommodate Roberts). Can we be honest, guys? This sounds nothing like the original “The Secret In Their Eyes,” which was a film steeped in the troubled history of Argentina in a way that can’t be transposed to the States. But we’re just pleased to see Ejiofor getting a lead role, and it’ll be interesting to see him play off Roberts. The film starts shooting next month.
In other trade news, “Shameless” actress (she’s in the television show “Shameless,” that’s not a judgment of character) Emma Greenwell has joined the expanding cast of “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies” according to Variety. The Wrap reports that “Eleanor Rigby” helmer Ned Benson is penning “How Starbucks Saved My Life” for The Weinstein Company, and Variety say that Steve Carell will star in cancer dramedy “The Priority List” for “The Devil Wears Prada” helmer David Frankel.
Also, “Mama” helmer Andres Muschetti has replaced Josh Trank on the adaptation of video game classic “Shadow Of The Colossus” [Deadline], while hot Scandinavian helmer Morten Tyldum has surfed the glowing buzz off his Oscar contender “The Imitation Game” to land a job directing an adaptation of William Gibson‘s “Pattern Recognition” [THR]