Todd Graff to Direct DAMN YANKEES starring Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal; Etan Cohen Gets DADDY’S HOME with Will Ferrell and Ed Helms

     February 5, 2010

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Deadline has updates on two films, both of which are getting unknown/first-time directors to helm flicks with big stars.  First up, Todd Graff is getting in the director’s chair for a remake of the musical Damn Yankees, which is set to star Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal.  The 1955 musical focuses on a fan who makes a deal with the devil in order to become a slugger who will lead the struggling Yanks to the World Series.  The front office of all ball clubs should adopt this strategy.  Carrey would play the Devil while Gyllenhaal would be the wannabe baseball superstar.  As for Graff, he’s directed three musical, but the highest grossing one was 2009’s Bandslam, which only made $5.2 million at the box office.  Graff may be untested for such a big flick, but I dig the musical and Carrey as the Devil should be pretty fun.

Hit the jump to learn how screenwriter Etan Cohen is making the jump to directing with Daddy’s Home starring Will Ferrell and Ed Helms.

etan_coen.jpgCohen’s a pretty big deal when it comes to direct high-grossing Hollywood films.  He penned Madagascar 2, Tropic Thunder, as well as the upcoming Men in Black 3 and a Sherlock Holmes comedy starring Ferrell as Watson and Sacha Baron Cohen as Holmes.  Now he’s getting his shot at directing by taking the helm of Daddy’s Home, which wasn’t written by Cohen but by Adam McKay and Chris Henchy (The Other Guys).  Here’s how Deadline describes the plot:

A woman marries a wild guy (Ferrell), but tires of his man-child ways after they have kids, divorces him, and marries a bland but stable spouse (Helms). When Ferrell comes back into her life to bond with their kids, he turns the new household upside down.

Oh good.  Will Ferrell playing another man-child and Ed Helms playing against type as an uptight Baxter*.  I was hoping that Land of the Lost‘s failure would prompt Ferrell to re-evaluate this choice in characters.  Then again, he also has other projects on the horizon so maybe there’s hope yet.

*A “Baxter” is the term for the stable boyfriend who eventually gets left in favor of the passionate ex-boyfriend.  Michael Showalter made a nice little comedy about it, appropriately titled, The Baxter.

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