Offbeat auteur David O. Russell is hot off the success of last year's Silver Linings Playbook, which is the filmmaker's highest grossing release to date ($230 million worldwide) and snagged its leading lady Jennifer Lawrence an Oscar. He returns in 2013 with a project that mixes historical fact and satire, and was previously going under its working title, American Bulls**t.
The movie is now called American Hustle and will reach theaters before this year draws to a close. It's a short turnaround period, especially for that between Russell productions, given his previous directing vehicles were (on average) released three years apart. He's known for being fast and efficient during shoots, though, so this comes as welcome news.
American Hustle is based on a script by Eric Warren Singer (Splinter Cell), which made the Hollywood Black List of best un-produced screenplays, and dramatizes the true story of ABSCAM: an FBI sting operation in the late 1970s and '80s - set up by a notorious con artist (played by Christian Bale) and his mistress/partner in crime (Amy Adams) - which resulted in several prominent members of Congress being exposed for their corrupt and illicit activities.
Bale and Adams aren't the only returning players from previous Russell movies, as the cast also includes the Silver Linings Playbook trio of Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Lawrence in a small role. Meanwhile, the accomplished supporting cast for Russell's take on 20th century American history includes Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy), Michael Peña (End of Watch), Louis C.K. (Louie), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire) and Dawn Olivieri (House of Lies).
Russell danced around the comic book adaptation 2 Guns and began developing a film version of the Uncharted video game series - in addition to having an eye on the American Desperado adaptation with Mark Wahlberg (back when it was known as Cocaine Cowboys) - before he made Silver Linings Playbook and, thereafter, jumped right into American Hustle.
That's probably for the best, as those projects are in keeping with the filmmaker's eclectic tastes, but not outside his wheelhouse, as was evident throughout SLP and its clever balance act of earnest human drama and class farce that called back to Russell's great work on The Fighter. Judging by the early signs, American Hustle should be a wild, thoughtful and entertaining mix of compassionate storytelling and cutting satire on par with Russell's past offerings.
In related news: Russell could feasibly have another motion picture reach theaters by 2014, as he's already lined up to direct the dramedy The Ends of the Earth after American Hustle, with Lawrence playing the female lead.
Look for American Hustle in limited theatrical release on December 13th, 2013, before it goes wide two weeks later on Christmas Day.
Source: Box Office Mojo