Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton scored a huge hit with Little Miss Sunshine, but had difficulty getting a follow-up off the ground. The duo was attached to Will, which was set to star Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis, but the project fell apart. There was also the possibility of the comedy The Abstinence Teacher starring Sandra Bullock and Steve Carell, but that fizzled out. Then Faris and Dayton were attached to try and get the long-in-development Used Guys into production, but it didn’t happen. Last year, they finally got a new movie in front of cameras. The film, He Loves Me, stars Paul Dano as “a once-great novelist who is creativity blocked due to heartache and loneliness, only to be turned around when he writes his dream girl (Zoe Kazan) who then comes to life.” The movie co-stars Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll.
Today, Fox Searchlight sent out a press release announcing that the title had been changed to Ruby Sparks. The studio also revealed an official synopsis and a release date. Hit the jump for more.
One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director So Young Kim‘s (In Between Days) For Ellen. Led by a fantastic performance by Paul Dano, the film’s about a struggling musician trying to keep custody of his very young daughter even though he’s never been around. The film also stars Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, and Shay Mandigo.
Shortly after seeing the film I got to sit down with Dano for an extended interview. We talked about being at Sundance, how he got involved in For Ellen, what it’s about, who he plays, how much fun he had playing a “narcissistic prick,” what it’s like to be in almost every frame of the movie, and if more people want to talk to him about The Girl Next Door, Little Miss Sunshine, or There Will Be Blood? In addition, with Dano involved in so many other projects, we also talked about Rian Johnson‘s Looper, Being Flynn with Robert De Niro, director Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ He Loves Me, and how he’s hoping to do a film called Night Moves with Meek’s Cutoff director Kelly Reichardt. Hit the jump to watch.
Two new roles to report for Alia Shawkat tonight. Shawkat is the latest to join the cast of He Loves Me, following in the talented footsteps of Paul Dano, Annette Bening, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina, Antonio Banderas, Deborah Ann Woll, Steve Coogan, Toni Trucks, and Elliott Gould. Dano stars as “a once-great novelist who’s creativity is blocked due to heartache and loneliness.” He writes about a new character, his dream girl (played by Kazan), to overcome his writer’s block and somehow wills her into existence. Shawkat will play Mabel, “a cute hipster who has a crush on Dano’s character and is obsessed with one of his literary creations.” Directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (Little Miss Sunshine), He Loves Me is currently in production in Los Angeles.
Hit the jump for more on the second movie, The Brass Teapot.
Kristen Wiig is capitalizing on the surprise success of Bridesmaids to jumpstart a passion project she has pursued for a couple years now. In Imogene, Wiig plays a New York playwright who fakes a suicide attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend. The plan backfires, and she is forced into custody of her gambling-addicted mother. Deadline reports Annette Bening has signed on to play the mother. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (The Nanny Diaries) are on board to direct from a script by Michelle Morgan (Middle of Nowhere).
Bening is very likely going to play a part in the Howard Hughes biopic her husband, Warren Beatty, is working on; Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Shia La Beouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood, Rooney Mara are also reportedly up for various roles. Currently, Bening is filming He Loves Me, which brings us to our next casting notice after the break.
Antonio Banderas has joined the cast of Fox Searchlight’s He Loves Me. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), He Loves Me stars Paul Dano as a writer who, in an attempt to overcome writer’s block, pens a female character he thinks will love him. As the story goes, Dano actually wills the character into existence. Dano’s real-life girlfriend, Zoe Kazan, will play the character brought to life. Kazan also wrote the screenplay. As for Banderas, he will take on the role of Dano’s mother’s (played by Annette Bening) boyfriend.
In addition to Banderas, 24 Frames reports that The Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi is in talks to join the pic as well. Per the report, Mandvi would play the role of Dano’s agent. The actor most recently appeared alongside Zach Galifianakis and Emma Roberts in It’s Kind of a Funny Story and also has a role in writer/director J.C. Chandor’s Margin Call starring Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Zachary Quinto, and Penn Badgley. Margin Call hits theaters this fall on October 21st. Bringing it back to He Loves Me, the film is currently in production in Los Angeles with Deborah Ann Woll, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, and Chris Messina rounding out the cast.
A number of actors have been added to the cast of Fox Searchlight’s He Loves Me. Heat Vision reports that Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder), Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven) and Chris Messina (Vicky Christina Barcelona). The film stars Paul Dano as a struggling novelist who creates his dream girl only to have her come to life. Annette Bening stars as Dano’s mother, with Zoe Kazan playing his dream girl.
Woll will play Dano’s ex-girlfriend, but there’s no word on who the other actors are playing. Kazan wrote the screenplay and Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are at the helm. Production is set to begin this month.
It looks like Annette is close to locking in her first role post-The Kids Are All Right. Variety reports that the actress is in negotiations to star in Fox Searchlight’s He Loves Me. The film stars Paul Dano as “a once-great novelist who is creativity blocked due to heartache and loneliness,” only to be turned around when he writes his dream girl who then comes to life. So it’s like Weird Science meets Mannequin, only super indie.
Dano’s real-life girlfriend, Zoe Kazan, wrote the screenplay and will star in the film as the dream girl. Bening is eying the role of Dano’s mother, a painter who’s worried about how much her son hates her second-husband, a dirty hippie (the answer is a lot. He hates your dirty hippie husband a lot). Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are helming the flick, which starts filming next month.