Gyllenhaal and Hathaway Cast in Ed Zwick's Love and Other Drugs
by Alex Billington
June 8, 2009
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.