Following the surprise success of Universal’s Pitch Perfect last year, DreamWorks is getting in on the a capella craze. The studio has picked up a pitch about the story behind the a capella group Straight No Chaser, which was formed by ten Indiana University students in 1996. The group was fairly successful in the late 1990s but disbanded three years after forming, only to see a video of their 1998 performance of “12 Days of Christmas” go viral in 2006 when it was uploaded to YouTube. Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman saw the video and quickly got the group back together, signing a five-record deal and bringing Straight No Chaser widespread mainstream success. Hit the jump for more.
Director Jonathan Demme is adding yet another project to his pile. Variety reports that the Silence of the Lambs filmmaker is attached to direct the family dramedy Old Fires for Anonymous Content. Written by Heather McGowan (Tadpole), the story centers on a world-renowned architect who, after waking up from a coma in need to physical and mental rehabilitation, tries to repair his damaged relationship with his children and wife. It’s relatively smaller fare for Demme in the vein of Rachel Getting Married, but it sounds like a promising character-centric pic.
Demme recently released the documentary Neil Young Journeys and wrapped the very low-budget My Dinner with Andre reunion Wally and Andre Shoot Ibsen. Production on Old Fires is set to begin next summer while Demme continues to develop an adaptation of Stephen King’s time travel novel 11/22/63 and an animated iteration of the Dave Eggers book Zeitoun.
In a bit of indie news, director Lynn Shelton (Humpday) has signed on to helm the dramedy Laggies. Written by Andrea Seigel, Laggies tells the story of a 28-year-old woman who is unable to cope with the pressures brought on by her boyfriend’s recent marriage proposal. In turn, she escapes into the comfort of adolescence by befriending a group of high schoolers.
Variety reports that casting on Laggies is set to begin in the near future, meaning that the project will likely take precedent over the adaptation of Joshua Ferris’ novel Then We Came to the End which Shelton is also attached to direct. Steve Golin, Alix Madigan, and Rosalie Swedlin will produce the pic for Anonymous Content. Shelton’s next film, My Sister’s Sister, will premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass star in that pic.