Here’s one for the ladies: the new project from writer/director Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) has drawn the star power of Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and Oprah Winfrey. The power trio have committed to the not-yet-titled Universal comedy, rumored to revolve around the Home Shopping network. King met with producer Scott Stuber and hammered out the idea with the three leading ladies in mind.
“I put it in front of each of them and they all said yes,” King said. “To have access to these women, tell them this story and hear yes was almost like a Greek mythological journey, with me going from one goddess to the next. It was humbling.” King expects to have the script done by January, with production tentatively scheduled for the summer. Hit the jump for more.
I’ll say this now: I have never seen Sex and the City, nor do I ever intend to. So while seeing Bullock and Streep (who, coincidentally, went head to head at last year’s Academy Awards) come together on the big screen is reason to rejoice, the idea of King directing the film leaves my enthusiasm somewhat stifled.
Still, there’s no doubting that the cast, including the all-powerful Winfrey, will lead to a substantial box office profit. And that’s if the film sucks. Imagine if it’s good, or even marginally better than the critically reviled Sex and the City films, both of which opened to enormous $30 million-plus weekends. Even if King’s film draws only half of Bullock’s last audience, who flocked to see her Oscar-winning turn in The Blind Side, Universal will have a $100 million-plus blockbuster on its hands. King’s film is essentially a guaranteed hit – how high it will climb depends entirely on whether or not the director has learned from previous mistakes. Here’s a good start: make sure your female characters actually possess something resembling an IQ.
I should mention Streep here, but what else is there to say of the Academy Award-winning actress? She’s in the middle of a nice stretch of films that include John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, the Nora Ephron-directed Julie & Julia (which put her up against Bullock last year), and even some fine voice work in the form of Wes Anderson’s criminally underappreciated The Fantastic Mr. Fox. To say she’s the finest actress working in cinema today is, at this point, not necessary. Everyone already knows it.
Intriguingly, this will be Winfrey’s first film since 1998’s Beloved, if you don’t count her vocal work, that is. The actress is arguably one of the most influential people alive, having made her mark on the big screen in a little Steven Spielberg production called The Color Purple, which nabbed her a well-deserved Oscar nomination.