They are the men responsible for not one, but two of this year’s biggest hits: The LEGO Movie and 22 Jump Street. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have had themselves quite a 2014 – and thus, have earned the right to claim any project they want as their next. So far, they’ve turned down the offer to helm the forthcoming (?) Ghostbusters 3 and are supervising development of 23 Jump Street (but not directing… yet, anyway); on the TV side, they directed the pilot for The Last Man on Earth, which debuts this fall, and are producing a reboot of Greatest American Hero.
Deadline states that the directors are now circling an adaptation of the international best-selling book The Rosie Project, which was authored by IT consultant-turned-novelist Graeme Simison. The trade also notes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, writers of (500) Days of Summer and The Fault in our Stars, are set to pen the screenplay for Sony.
Rosie Project tells the story of Don Tillman, a genetics professor who suffers from Asperger’s and hasn’t had much luck with women until he launches the Wife Project: a questionnaire to help him find the right mate for his particular lifestyle. Despite designing the form to find someone with perfect compatibility, a free-wheeling individual named Rosie – who meets zero of the “requirements” – may prove to be Tillman’s ideal date.
From that synopsis, it certainly seems like a project that would be right up Lord and Miller’s alley. Early in their career, one of their staples is taking mismatched protagonists and making them the best of friends – whether it’s the Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill bromance in the Jump Street films or the budding romance of Emmet and Wyldstyle that gave LEGO its emotional core – to hilarious results.
The material is something Neustadter and Weber should be comfortable with, as Days of Summer was seen by many as one of this generation’s finest rom-coms. The Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Zooey Deschanel pairing also dealt with similar themes to Rosie Project, as Tom (Gordon-Levitt) was obsessed with fate and finding the “right” one – despite the messy unpredictability love presents.
Nothing is guaranteed just yet, but if this is the creative team, it sounds like we have another comedy hit on our hands. Lord and Miller have a history of delivering hysterical movies for Sony (the studio behind Jump Street) and Rosie Project has the potential to be a comedic goldmine.
Not only that, we wouldn’t put it past the directors to sneak in some smart social commentary (recall the undertones of The LEGO Movie) to poke fun at today’s world of Tinder apps, online dating, and the futility of trying to find the one via scientific formulas.
We’ll keep you updated on The Rosie Project as more information becomes available.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.