Paul Weitz really has nowhere to go but up in terms of quality with his Little Fockers followup, the drama Another Night. The writer/director will reunite with Robert De Niro for the project, which now includes another solid talent, Paul Dano, as a member of its cast.
Focus Features is the financial power behind Weitz’ next film, an adaptation of Nick Flynn’s 2004 memoir – which bears the memorable but NSFW title, Another Bulls–t Night in Suck City.
Another Night is based off Flynn’s peculiar but true-life experience of having taken on a job at a Boston homeless shelter only to discover that his long-absent father (De Niro) is a resident. Flynn’s wayward old man is a delusional con artist, self-proclaimed poet, and a raging alcoholic whose behavior takes its toll on his son, nearly driving him insane as well. Variety has confirmed that Dano will play Flynn, who eventually manages to succeed where his dad could not (i.e., in becoming a professional writer).
Dano is best known for tackling double duties as the identical twins Eli & Paul Sunday in There Will Be Blood, and for playing the silent, Nietzsche-reading Dwayne in Little Miss Sunshine. His next onscreen appearances will be in the very different sci-fi flicks – Cowboys & Aliens and Looper, the latter of which will also reunite Inception star Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Brick writer/director Rian Johnson.
De Niro will take a break from doing comedy with Another Night and there’s little reason to doubt that the acting legend won’t fully immerse himself in the role of a delusional homeless man – possibly to his fellow cast member’s chagrin (we kid, we kid). There’s also a joke to be made about De Niro downing heavy amounts of Vodka in his post-Fockers role, but it’s almost too easy to make.
Weitz started his directorial career off on a high note, collaborating with his brother Chris on the original American Pie (which Chris went uncredited for) and the Nick Hornby novel adaptation, About A Boy. He went solo behind the camera on decent but unmemorable films like In Good Company and Cirque du Freak before releasing the critically-derided but financially-successful Meet the Parents threequel this past winter.
Another Night certainly has the potential to pack an emotional punch, given the dreary subject matter and the involvement of both Dano and De Niro. Perhaps the adaptation will mark a return to better form for Weitz, even though it seems guaranteed to be anything but a box office smash.
We’ll keep you posted on the development of Another Night as more information is released.