David O. Russell to Direct Will Smith in Modern Day Story About Job?
Last July we learned that Will Smith was looking to tackle another vampire story with the Biblically inspired story The Legend of Cain. Now it looks like another project with foundations in the Bible has caught the actor's eye. Movie B.S. (via Collider) caught up with writers Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (The Fighter) where they revealed a new project called Joe, a modern day re-telling of the story of the Biblical character Job. Apparently the writers sold it to Sony with Smith attached to play Joe and produce via his Overbrook Entertainment production banner. Oh, and David O. Russell may even end up directing this one too.
Here's what Tamasy had to say about the project:
It’s a modern version of the story of Job. [Will Smith will] be playing 'Joe.' The movie’s called 'Joe.' It’s about a man [who is living] the American dream. He’s got the nice house, white picket fence, great kids, great wife, nice cars. God and the devil get together every thousand years to bet on a man’s life, and the fate of the world is at stake. What all of us get hit with in a lifetime, this man gets hit with in one week. And it’s about whether or not he can still pick himself up from that and survive it. It’s a dramedy. At it’s heart, it’s a comedy — but it’s got, obviously, a real dramatic core to it.
The fact that he describes it as a comedy immediately wipes away my thoughts about it being similar in tone to Smith's last film Seven Pounds, but this still sounds like it could be pretty powerful. It's hard to believe that by the time Men in Black 3D hits theaters next summer that Smith will have not starred in a film since the aforementioned 2008 film. Of course his three year hiatus hasn't exactly been a breezy vacation since the actor has been busy producing films like The Karate Kid for his son Jaden Smith, and now will be working to bring his daughter Willow into films with a remake of the musical Annie.
As for this new project, there's no telling how soon it could get off the ground, especially since David O. Russell is another busy guy in Hollywood right now. The filmmaker has an adaptation of the video game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune on the way, and is supposed to do Old St. Louis with Vince Vaughn at some point. In addition, he's merely the name that Sony wants to put behind the project, and nothing is official yet. I'm betting it will be awhile before we hear about this project again, but with Hollywood you never really know what's going to happen. Interested?