I’d like to introduce you to my phrase of the week: “competitive birding”. In 1998, Mark Obmascik followed three competitors in the Big Year, a renowned birding competition in which all participants pause their life for a year and traverse the nation in search of the obscurest of birds; the winner spotted an incredible 745 species. Obmascik documented the three journeys in The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession. Jack Black and Owen Wilson have been attached to a cinematic adaptation for a while now. At one point, the third role was destined for Dustin Hoffman, but THR reports that recent Oscar host Steve Martin will instead assume the role. More after the break:
As the original story is intriguing in that microcosmic Errol Morris kind of way, I think I’d rather see this in documentary form. Martin and Black are kings of silliness among their respective generations (with Wilson a prince), and this is a situation where I think earnest is preferable to silly. But as long as we’re fictionalizing the tale, there is definite potential to be seen in the cast.
I love Martin, I really do. But I do daydream about what Hoffman would have done with the material. Although, I picture the acting god in pretty much every age appropriate role as of late. Dustin Hoffman in Gran Torino . . . Dustin Hoffman in Taken . . . Dustin Hoffman in Up . . .
But hey, this is a concept that truly deserves to be thrown up on screens nationwide, and I’ll take whatever version I can get. And if all else fails, you and I are both now aware of the existence of competitive birding. Thanks, Fox 2000!
The comedy, as helmed by David Frankel, is set to begin filming in Canada this May.