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Gyllenhaal and Hathaway Cast in Ed Zwick's Love and Other Drugs

by
June 8, 2009

Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway

Most outlets are focusing on the news that Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are reuniting for the first time since playing husband and wife in Brokeback Mountain in 2005. But to us, the more interesting news here is that filmmaker Ed Zwick, who previously directed Defiance and Blood Diamond, is going the dramatic route for once. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway have been cast in Love and Other Drugs, a pharmaceutical relationship drama previously titled Pharma. Fox 2000 and New Regency are developing the film, which is based off of Jamie Reidy's book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman."

The screenplay for Love and Other Drugs is being adapted by Charles Randolph (The Interpreter). The author of the book, Jamie Reidy, was a drug rep for Pfizer in the late 1990s; he eventually wrote a memoir that shined a light on the practices of the pharmaceutical industry. Gyllenhaal will play the salesman, who begins a relationship with a woman who has Parkinson's (Hathaway) while on one of his sales calls. Their love story plays out in the political and social context of the time. Fox is in the process of obtaining the rights from Universal, who is in the process of dumping the project. The plan is to shoot this in the fall.

As I said at the start, it's a bit odd to see Ed Zwick, who we know best for films like Glory, Legends of the Fall, Courage Under Fire, and The Last Samurai, taking on a relationship comedy like this. The concept sounds like something much more suited for a director like Jason Reitman, but I'll be curious to see how Zwick handles a project with less action. It was originally setup as a short at Universal called Hard Sell.

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  • Bahumbug
    I hate to always be the one to nitpick these articles and pretend like I know more but I really don't understand why you think it is odd for Zwick to do this. He is going back to his routes (like his first two films- Special Bulletin and About Last Night) and lets not forget the fact that he loves to produce this stuff (he is pretty much credited as the guy who helped bring My So Called Life to life and he helped the Weinsteins with Shakespeare In Love).
  • "is going the dramatic route for once" I assume you mean the exact opposite because sarcasm there wouldn't really make sense. And for commenter #1, I am pretty sure you meant going back to his roots instead of "routes." Back to the topic at hand, Edward Zwick is highly overrated. His recent work has featured top bill actors with middling results in films that are usually 20 minutes to a half hour too long. I know he made Glory but otherwise he has taken good projects with subpar results that I think would have been better films in different hands. Although I do have fond memories of Courage Under Fire, its one a string of average films. I really don't get what people like about The Last Samurai. That was a terrible, overwrought borefest with Yojimbo Tom Cruise but it looks like he'll get another chance with two of Hollywood's better actors, maybe he'll suprise me but with a story like this, I highly doubt it.
  • Bahumbug
    Yeah, my bad. I wish the forum comments had an edit section for spelling.
  • viral
    Ed Zwick over rated? seriously? i disagree i though blood diamond was bloody brilliant...storywise and visually so. also i had problmes with defiance but those were more to do with the thick polish accent than to do with the story or direction. Ed zwick has made 2 visually stunning movies and i cant see why he will not succed in making a dramatic movie
  • Hsa
    I honestly cannot wait to see the new Prince of Persia with this actor.

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