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'Short Term 12' Director Destin Cretton Heading to 'The Glass Castle'

by
October 9, 2013
Source: Variety

The Glass Castle

First things first, if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend watching Destin Cretton's film Short Term 12 as soon as possible. One of those films that will probably be one of your favorites this year. We're very big fans of filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton, of two great films so far - I Am Not a Hipster (Sundance 2012) and Short Term 12 (SXSW 2013), as well as a number of shorts. Happy to report more good news about him as Variety reports he's in early negotiations with Lionsgate to direct the adaptation of The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, which has Jennifer Lawrence attached to star. This would be a big leap ahead for Destin.

The book recounts Walls' and her siblings' unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents. Here's a better synopsis for Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle from Amazon:

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

The adaptation of The Glass Castle at Lionsgate is being produced by Jennifer Lawrence and Gil Netter. The project was first revealed earlier this year when news hit that Lawrence was attached to star to begin with. Now word is that Destin Cretton will be rewriting the script with Andrew Lanham, in addition to directing the film once it's ready to go. The first draft was written by Marti Noxon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer", I Am Number Four, Fright Night) and will now get revised to most likely fit with Cretton's style and sensibilities. Commenting on Lawrence's casting, author Jeannette Walls thinks she'll be able to pull it off easily: "She's been able to tap into that for these performances as this tough chicky-poo who also has this vulnerability."

With Short Term 12 being heralded as one of the best films of the year by many film lovers, it's likely we'll see Destin Cretton's name popping up more often. Which is unquestionably a good thing considering he's such a wonderful filmmaker. Destin wrote and directed both of his first two films. Until we hear more on The Glass Castle, it's imperative everyone see Short Term 12; and I Am Not a Hipster while you're at it, too.

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