We just barely learned that Colin Firth is going to headline Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class co-writer/director Matthew Vaughn's upcoming Mark Millar comic book adaptation, The Secret Service, and now reports are in that the Oscar-winning actor is also making plans to co-headline Woody Allen's currently-untitled followup project to his Summer 2013 release, Blue Jasmine.
The Woodmeister returned to his native U.S. shores to shoot Blue Jasmine, which is a comedy about a New York housewife (Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett) who must deal with "the final stages of an acute crisis." Per usual for a Woody Allen project, the cast includes big names like Alec Baldwin and comedians Andrew Dice Clay and Louis C.K., in addition to such credible supporting talent as Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire), Peter Sarsgaard (Lovelace) and Sally Hawkins (Godzilla).
Deadline is reporting that Allen has plans to resume his European "tour" after Blue Jasmine, by filming his latest original script in the South of France. Firth has yet to finalize the deal, but Allen's quick-and-easy production approach will make it easier for the King's Speech actor to work things out; that is, both fit Allen's movie into his schedule and remain committed to Vaughn's Secret Service movie (which is due to open in theaters during November 2014).
Firth is a natural match for the Allen-verse; in fact, he's already played the kind of smart, but dysfunctional - and hopeless when it comes to relationships - creative type which appear throughout Allen's filmography (see: Firth's character in Love, Actually). Of course, the award-winner Firth also knows how to play the square and dignified archetype for laughs as well (see: Bridget Jones's Diary), in case that's the sort of character that Allen's hiring Firth to tackle here.
Allen found the female lead to share the screen with Firth in his next project just last week, in the shape of the charismatic (and currently ubiquitous) actress Emma Stone. Case in point, the young star has already made appearances onscreen this year in Gangster Squad and Movie 43 - not to mention her voice performance in The Croods - and has five movies arriving within the next two years. That is why Stone will have to work on Allen's picture, then jump right into filming on Guillermo del Toro's haunted house feature Crimson Peak in early 2014.
Firth and Stone are, most likely, playing a bumbling odd couple from different sides of the pond, possibly even a non-romantically involved one that falls closer to a father-daughter pair ( a la Allen and Scarlett Johansson in Scoop). That could make for a fun comical Euro-romp from the old-school auteur, with scenic backdrops provided by the same country where Allen shot his popular film Midnight in Paris. Here's to hoping this is one of the director's "hits," rather than a "miss."
Blue Jasmine opens in U.S. theaters on July 26th, 2013.
We'll let you know when Allen's next project gains an official title and release date.