After building a hugely successful, wide-ranging career as an actor, Jonah Hill is finally ready to helm his first movie. The two-time Oscar-nominated actor will step behind the camera for the first time in Mid-90s, a coming-of-age movie about a kid and his skateboarding buddies. Hill also wrote the script for the movie, but will not star.
Though not much more is known regarding the project, news about the cast of Mid-90s is starting to come together. Hill still needs to cast his protagonist and group of friends, but is reportedly on the verge of landing Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams for the female lead.
As reported by Deadline, Williams is in talks to star in Mid-90s, which takes place in Los Angeles during the titular decade. She will reportedly play the mother of the 12-year-old protagonist, known right now as “Stevie,” as she raises him through the turbulence and life lessons that come with adolescence. Deadline says that the movie “follows a kid as he navigates through fighting, the lures of drinking, drugs and sex while feeling all the peer pressure as he heads into his teen years.”
Williams is no stranger to playing mothers living through stressful times. She is fresh off an acclaimed performance as a grieving mother in Manchester by the Sea, which earned her the the fourth Oscar nomination of her career. She has previously been nominated for her performances in Brokeback Mountain (in which she also played a mother), Blue Valentine, and My Week With Marilyn, in which she portrayed Marilyn Monroe.
Hill was no doubt drawn to Williams’ experience, range, and versatility as an actress. She has somewhat quietly built one of the more accomplished Hollywood careers in recent memory, and can be relied upon to deliver an affecting performance as a mother struggling to raise a teenage son. While the rest of Mid-90s has yet to be fleshed out, casting Williams in a lead role is certainly a strong start.
The big question with Mid-90s, of course, is Hill as director. He admitted in a speech at the New York Film Academy that while he has always wanted to direct, he was bad at giving direction to actors. This was one of the main reasons he took up acting classes in the first place, to figure out how actors would want to be directed. He’s ready to put his learning experience to use -- and if his directing chops turn out as good as his acting, his directorial debut has a chance to be another success.
Mid-90s is currently in development and has no release date.