Regina Hall has signed up to play one of the three leads in “The Surrogate,” a thriller to be directed by Jon Cassar, which tells the story of a couple who hire a surrogate to have their baby, but, as you might expect, things don’t go entirely as expected.
We’ve seen this before in one shape or another.
The news comes from Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411, who describes it as “a little like ‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.”
Friedman also adds that either Taye Diggs or Michael Ealy may be co-starring in the movie, as likely one-half of the couple; the other half to be played by Hall. No word on who might play the surrogate.
I had to rack my brain a bit, but I remembered a project titled “The Surrogate,” which had a very similar premise, announced years ago, with Halle Berry attached to star. I dug into the S&A archives to find a 2009 post on the old S&A site (pre-Indiewire), in which I mentioned that Berry was in talks to star in a film called “Surrogate” for 20th Century Fox. It doesn’t appear that 20th Century Fox is still involved at the moment – at least based on Roger Friedman’s report. At the time, it was announced that the film, also billed as a thriller, would be based on the 2004 book of the same name by Kathryn Mackel, that centers on a couple desperate to have a child, who find themselves in an extremely difficult position when they discover that the surrogate they hired to carry their baby is insane.
Berry was interested in playing the wife who wants to have the child, and Fox was reportedly keen to have her do it. Dutchman, Paul Verhoeven, was attached to direct. A year later, in 2010, we reported that the project was still very much in the works, with Berry attached. Director Verhoeven talked about it in an MTV interview in which he said that the hold-up was due to financing and content approval from the studio. In short, Fox wasn’t necessarily willing to part with the $30 million needed to finance the film, because of how provocative the material is/was, and what Verhoeven had in mind for it. He called it “provocative and sexual,” adding that there was concern from the studio about the issues the film would tackle – contentious issues like abortion, notably.
I embedded the interview below for you to check out.
But that was in 2010. Since then, I haven’t read/heard anything about the project. And I’m assuming this one, with potentially Regina Hall starring in the role Halle Berry wanted to play, and either Taye Diggs or Michael Ealy joining her, is the same project initially announced in 2009, now with Jon Cassar at the helm.
Director Cassar’s resume includes helming episodes of hit TV series like “24,” “Daybreak” (which starred Taye Diggs), “La Femme Nikita,” the most recently-broadcast “24: Live Another Day,” and more. He’s also currently finishing a western titled “Forsaken,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, and Demi Moore.
Production on “The Surrogate” is set for early winter, with Unique Features’ Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, producing.
Here’s the 2010 MTV interview with Verheoven: