David O. Russell is still caught up in the whirlwind of awards season thanks to his latest film, American Hustle (it’s currently tied with Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity for most Oscar nominations), but that doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about what’s up next on his docket. While the vaunted director hasn’t made any official moves just yet as regards his follow-up project, for the time being it’s a good bet that it will both be fact-based and feature the acting talents of Jennifer Lawrence; sticking to yesteryear’s news, that’s possibly Russell’s proposed love story, Ends of the Earth.
But then again, maybe not: he might actually be adapting the struggles of one Joy Mangano to the big screen instead. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Mangano is best known as the creative mind behind such household cleaning devices the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers; she’s also a pretty shrewd entrepreneur, having gone from working a trio of different jobs as a single mother of three to becoming a Home Shopping Network mainstay and creating her own success for herself through her numerous inventions.
This little development comes to us from the folks at Deadline. Currently, Russell has made no commitment to the production, which is housed at Fox 2000; he’s reportedly just eying it for now, but should he choose to involve himself, he’ll not only handle directorial duties, he’ll also potentially affect rewrites on Bridesmaid screenwriter Annie Mumolo’s already completed script. He’s also leveraging his influence to get Lawrence brought on to star in the as of now untitled film, though given Lawrence’s near-universal popularity, that shouldn’t be a particularly difficult negotiation.
Of course, she’s also tied up with multiple franchises and a handful of non-blockbuster commitments already; she’s all in for the much-anticipated and exhaustively-discussed X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay‘s two halves are coming down the pipeline, and she’s reuniting with original Hunger Games director Gary Ross for East of Eden. The girl on fire has quite a packed schedule for the next few years, and it’s hard to imagine where she’ll have time to squeeze in additional work.
But if Russell takes the helm for the Mangano film, it’s equally hard to imagine that she wouldn’t make room for it no matter how busy she is. Between Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook, she already has two Russell pictures under her belt; between this nameless movie and the promised Ends of the Earth, Lawrence has obviously become his new muse, his go-to leading lady. It seems unlikely at a glance that she would give that up, especially given the amount of Oscar attention she’s won by associating herself with Russell’s cinema.
For his part, Russell doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to go after a story of this nature at first blush, but he’s changed his tune quite a bit since his I Heart Huckabees days. Detailing Mangano’s trials, tribulations, and triumphs would fit well into his latter-day image as an Academy-caliber filmmaker. For now, consider all of this speculative, especially since Ends of the Earth hasn’t gone anywhere yet, but if Russell’s out for new material to mull over, this seems like a reasonable bet.
We’ll keep you up-to-speed on Lawrence and Russell’s various dealings as new information comes our way.