Gran Torino was supposed to have been Clint Eastwood's swansong, as an actor. However, in the latter months of 2011, news got out that the 81-year-old Hollywood icon would work in front of the camera one more time on Trouble with the Curve, the directorial debut of his frequent assistant director/producer, Robert Lorenz.
Sandra Bullock was briefly raised as a possibility to portray Eastwood's daughter in the film, but a scheduling conflict reportedly forced the Oscar-winning actress to withdraw. Word got out shortly thereafter that another acclaimed starlet, namely Amy Adams, could be taking Bullock's place; now, it seems that casting move is essentially set in stone.
EW has the exclusive on Matthew Lillard being in talks to also join the cast of Trouble with the Curve. The star of the original Scream and live-action Scooby-Doo movies is in a good place right now, thanks to his supporting turn in the new Golden Globe-winning (and Oscar front-runner) The Descendants - so, signing on for what should actually be Eastwood's final starring vehicle could easily help keep Lillard's win streak alive.
The Wrap has also learned that Joe Massingill is being eyed for Trouble with the Curve. The young Georgia-born actor only has one-episode stints on TV shows like Glee and Zeke and Luther on his resume. Combine that with the likelihood that Massingill is being eyed for a pivotal part in Lorenz' film and it's safe to say, this casting move will only help his standing in Hollywood.
Trouble with the Curve tells the tale of a nearly-blind baseball scout (Eastwood) who sets out with his adult daughter (Adams) for one final recruiting mission to check out a promising up-and-coming player in Atlanta (Massingill?). Lillard, should he sign on, would portray a rival scout.
It's interesting how Trouble with the Curve has the potential to be a breakout project for several people, including Massingill as an actor, Lorenz as a director, and relative newcomer Randy Brown as a screenwriter. Kind of ironic, really, seeing how it's both a story about the end of one man's professional career (life?) AND meant to be a final sendoff for Eastwood as a star of the big screen.
Lorez, as mentioned before, hasn't actually directed a film yet, so it will be interesting to see how much he's learned (and borrows) from Eastwood, having collaborated with the man on virtually every one of his projects released over the past decade. In all honesty, there seems to be a good chance that Trouble with the Curve could look and feel so much like an Eastwood-directed flick that many casual moviegoers will assume that's actually the case.
Trouble with the Curve is scheduled to begin production by March 2012. Since it's an inexpensive, character-driven drama, shooting shouldn't take too long; according to IMDB, the film is already set to hit theaters in France by January 2013. So, a late Oscar-qualifying U.S. limited run before the end of 2012 doesn't seem out of reach (for now).