In Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence proved a perfect match for filmmaker David O. Russell’s contemporary style of screwball comedy, and is on course to secure the Academy Award for her efforts. Thus, it’s welcome news that she and Russell are re-collaborating on two new movies: a currently-untitled dark comedy about the ABSCAM scandal (formerly known as American Bulls**t) and the fact-based dysfunctional romantic comedy The Ends of the Earth.
Russell is directing the ABSCAM flick based on a script he co-wrote with Eric Singer (who is currently scripting the Splinter Cell video game adaptation), pairing him and Lawrence with a cast that includes SLP leading man Bradley Cooper, as well as The Fighter stars Amy Adams and Christian Bale – in addition to at least one actor who has not teamed with Russell before, with Jeremy Renner. It’s a fantastic cast, for sure, and a great illustration of how times have changed since the filmmaker was stigmatized as being short-tempered and stubborn on-set.
Here is a synopsis for the ABSCAM film:
The Untitled David O. Russell Project is based on the true story of a notorious financial con artist (Bale) and his mistress/partner in crime (Adams), who were forced to work with an out of control federal agent (Cooper) to turn the tables on other con artists, mobsters, and politicians. At the epicenter of the entire tale, is the passionate and volatile leader of the New Jersey state assembly (Renner) who is also the local hero and mayor of impoverished Camden.
Deadline is reporting that Lawrence is playing Bale’s young wife, a character who probably won’t be at the epicenter of the sting operation madness, but it should prove a juicy and memorable role nonetheless (I’m thinking along the lines of Julia Stiles as Lawrence’s over-achieving sister in SLP). The movie sounds like a mix of blue collar farce and political satire, allowing Russell to continue settling into that niche he occupied on his previous two films and harkening back to his Iraq war picture Three Kings. As a self-admitted Russell fanboy, that sounds great by me.
Meanwhile, THR has learned Lawrence is committing to The Ends of the Earth, with Russell planning to direct, possibly once the pair completes shooting their ABSCAM project (which begins production in New York and Boston next month). Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch (The Pursuit of Happyness) are producing, with a script from Chris Terrio – the Argo screenwriter who is “competing” for the same Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar as Russell is for Silver Linings Playbook.
Here is how the site describes Ends of the Earth:
[The Weinstein Company drama is] a fact-based love story about a powerful oil tycoon who has everything stripped from him after he is caught in an affair.
That sounds like the premise for an unconventional human drama fitting Russell’s sensibilities, so hopefully the filmmaker sticks with Ends of the Earth (after leaving projects like Uncharted and 2 Guns over the past years). Until then, Lawrence is keeping busy, moving without a break from Russell’s ABSCAM flick right into Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past starting filming later this year – and not so long thereafter, reuniting with Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence to make The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2.
More on Russell’s ABSCAM flick and The Ends of the Earth as the stories develop.