Jonathan Levine Directing Anna Kendrick in I'm With Cancer

January 5, 2010

Jonathan Levine / Anna Kendrick

Do you remember hearing about the autobiographical "cancer comedy" called I'm With Cancer written by Will Reiser and being produced by Seth Rogen? We first wrote about it years ago when it came in at #9 on the 2008 Black List. THR has an update on the project, which we thought was about ready to be shelved forever, reporting that not only has The Wackness director Jonathan Levine been hired to direct (in place of Nicole Holofcener), but the talented Anna Kendrick (last seen in Up in the Air) will co-star. She joins a cast currently made up of James McAvoy and Seth Rogen (with more to be added soon I'm sure). Read on!

The screenplay, which is apparently still untitled (though it was originally called I'm With Cancer), is about a 25-year-old who learns that he has cancer. It's based on the real experiences of screenwriter/producer Will Reiser, who was diagnosed with cancer and successfully battled the disease over several years. Kendrick will play Katherine, a young psychologist assigned to handle Adam's case despite her lack of experience (which sounds a little too similar to her role in Up in the Air). The film will begin shooting in February this year up in Vancouver. Mandate Pictures is developing. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldeberg, and Ben Karlin are producing.

Not only am I a huge fan of The Wackness and Jonathan Levine, but I love Anna Kendrick as well, so this news couldn't be any better. With Levine behind the lens as well as Kendrick, McAvoy, and Rogen in front, I'm expecting nothing but brilliance. This has the makings of a huge break out hit, so don't forget about it!

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I OWN THIS BOARD haha. Sounds ok but her role is really similar

movie mike on Jan 5, 2010


no you don't I do.

Boris on Jan 5, 2010


the movie doesn't sound that interesting to me. i never knew cancer was a "funny" subject. i'm curious how they'll pull this off.

beavis on Jan 6, 2010


I didn't see the humor in watching family members die of cancer, but if Seth Rogen is involved well then maybe I just didn't give cancer a chance. "cancer comedy" that the stupidest thing I've ever read. I think I'll pass and wait for the "rape love story" or maybe the "child-molestation action adventure".

In-Rainbows on Jan 6, 2010


@4 The best way to not fear something is to find humor in it...I'm sure anyone with cancer would rather laugh about it than cry about it.

peloquin on Jan 6, 2010


@5 Its really hard to find humor in watching your hair fall out from chemotherapy and looking in the mirror to find a living skeleton looking back. You sound as if you've been fortunate enough not to have ever seen a loved one deteriorate before you or have to clean up their vomit from radiation treatments or seen the financial aftermath of the disease. I assume this because anyone who has wouldn't so passively say "anyone with cancer would rather laugh than cry about it".

In-Rainbows on Jan 6, 2010


Sounds like a delightful romp.

notes on Jan 6, 2010


Actually my Grandma died of lung cancer at the beginning of December and the last thing she wanted at that time was to have a bunch of her friends and relatives crying while they sat with her waiting for her final moment. She was still laughing about her disease and being optomistic about life til the day she died and it was much more comforting to her than sympathy and pity from everyone around her. For instance, I remember my 6 year old cousin playing with her wigs and pretending they were animals and it made her smile more than I had seen in a long time. Only a child completely oblivious to tact could take something with a negative connotation and make something enjoyable out of it. I think this film will do exactly that for people with Cancer; it will show them they're not alone and give them something humorous to relate to. I know it's cliched, but laughter really is the best medicine.

peloquin on Jan 6, 2010


@4, @6 The script is heartbreaking and funny. It could be called a "cancer comedy", but is really a "cancer dramedy". Yes, I've read it and, no, I have nothing at stake in it. It's written by a cancer survivor who is friends with the real Seth Rogen, who plays a character named Seth. The people involved here are drawing from real experience, and the screenplay does not shy away from the harshness of the disease, though it does take humor from the absurdity of the situations. I really do think people ought to have informed opinions. I'm not saying that the screenplay is without its flaws, but the treatment of cancer here, which includes moments of humor throughout, is more humane and generous -- and true to life -- than a morose, ploddingly earnest enshrinement of suffering. I've seen people I love become sick and die (as has pretty much everyone beyond a certain age; I claim no special expertise), and the most poignant memories are those that make me chuckle and tear up simultaneously. I'm not sure this script entirely succeeds, but the film deserves to be taken on its own terms.

Really on Jan 9, 2010

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