Demme May Direct De Niro/Cooper in 'Honeymoon with Harry'
In the past few years, director Jonathan Demme followed his acclaimed indie Rachel Getting Married with turns directing documentaries about legendary musical artists like Neil Young and Bob Marley. Now Deadline reports that Demme is circling the highly praised Paul Haggis written script Honeymoon with Harry as a potential directing gig. In addition, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper apparently read for the lead roles in a recent meeting organized by New Line at De Niro's Tribeca Productions offices. The script has regularly been mentioned as one of the best unproduced screenplays over the past six years. Read on!
Though the script is highly praised, apparently the problem lies in the fact that it has very strong comedic and dramatic elements, but can't be strictly defined (or rather marketed) as one or the other. Cooper's role sees him as a formerly self-centered womanizing booze-hound who changed his ways when he met a girl and fell in love, while De Niro would play the role of the girl's father, who recognizes himself in the young man, and tries to break them up. The two get engaged anyway, but when the girl passes away just before their wedding, Cooper goes on their honeymoon to drink his problems (any maybe his life) away. But wouldn't you know it, he ends up meeting De Niro who has come to spread his daughter's ashes on her favorite beach.
This is reminiscent of James L. Brooks in its approach to two characters who despise one another but find themselves stuck with each at a time when they're each at their lowest. The story comes from the purchase of an unpublished novel by Bart Baker which Haggis was brought in to adapt before Crash or Million Dollar Baby were even in production. At one time Vince Vaughn and Jack Nicholson were attached to star with Haggis directing, but budget problems killed it. Now Cooper and De Niro's collaboration on The Dark Fields has them wanting to work together, and this just might be it. However, nothing is official yet, so stay tuned.