John Carney‘s Once is a gem that has continued to grow a devoted audience since the film’s release in 2006. It’s a movie that gets better every time I see it and Carney wisely lets his actors/musicians take center stage rather than overwhelm the intimate story with his direction. Carney has directed two more European films since Once, and 24 Frames reports that he’ll be making his stateside debut for the dramedy Dogs of Babel. As we reported back in February, Steve Carell is set to play a linguistics professor who finds his wife dead in their backyard. Grief-stricken by his wife’s death and unable to accept the police’s ruling that it was an accident, the professor tries to teach their dog to speak in order to discover the truth. With Once, Carney showed he could blend the comic and the melancholy to beautiful effect and he seems like a wise choice for this film.
It’s difficult to tell when Dogs of Babel will fall into Carell’s busy schedule. However, getting a director on board is a good sign that it could shoot next year. Carney recently wrapped filming on the supernatural drama The Rafters. Carell will be seen in theaters next year in the apocalyptic rom-com Seeking a Friend at the End of the World and alongside Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Great Hope Springs.