ER reunion alert! Well, sort of. George Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov have signed on to produce longtime ER showrunner John Wells’ impressive next directorial feature, August: Osage County. The film is based on the Pulitzer/Tony Award-winning play by Tracy Letts and follows “the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.” The Weinstein Company is backing the pic, which is set to star Meryl Streep as the family’s pill popping matriarch and Julia Roberts as her daughter.
Though he’s directed numerous television episodes (including ER and The West Wing), Wells made his feature directorial debut with 2010’s The Company Men. Casting for August: Osage County is ongoing, but Clooney and Heslov make yet another impressive addition to this promising production. Filming is set to get underway this fall, so expect Streep’s name to be among the 2013 Best Actress nominees. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Here’s the press release (via Deadline):
NEW YORK – June 18, 2012 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that George Clooney, Academy Award®-winning actor (SYRIANA) and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker (GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK., THE IDES OF MARCH), and Academy Award®-nominated producer/screenwriter Grant Heslov (GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK., THE IDES OF MARCH) have signed on as producers of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, the upcoming screen adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play by Tracy Letts. Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts star as mother and daughter in the film, directed by John Wells from Letts’ screen adaptation. Clooney and Heslov join producers Steve Traxler and Jean Doumanian. The announcement was made by TWC Co-Chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
Said Clooney, “Grant and I are thrilled to work on this project. It’s already a great cast and great material and I can’t think of anyone better than Harvey to put this all together. And we’re particularly excited to work with our dear friend John Wells. It’s such a terrific group and we feel honored to help bring it to the screen.”
Commented Harvey Weinstein, “George and Grant are gifted producers, with great taste and instincts, and a work ethic that is second to none. I personally wanted them on board as their talent is a perfect fit for a film of this artistic caliber. We are delighted to welcome them to the AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY team, and feel very lucky to have them.”
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Letts’ play made its Broadway debut in December 2007 after premiering at Chicago’s legendary Steppenwolf Theatre earlier that year. It continued with a successful international run.
Streep has been cast as pill-popping matriarch Violet Weston, and Roberts will play her complicated adult daughter Barbara. Streep’s recent performance in THE IRON LADY was honored with the 2012 Best Actress Academy Award®, as well as a BAFTA and a Golden Globe.
The filmmakers are still casting, and they will begin shooting this Fall.