David O. Russell Circles Disney's 'Maleficent' & Talks Future Projects
by Ethan Anderton
June 15, 2011
Just recently there was rejoice from video game fans when we heard that director David O. Russell would no longer be directing Mark Wahlberg in an adaptation of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Of course, that left a myriad of projects that Russell has been attached to over the past year, but we'll get to those later. Right now, another project has caught the director's eye as THR reports Russell is looking at Disney's Maleficent as a potential directing gig. Tim Burton recently left the project which tells the Sleeping Beauty tale form the evil witch's point-of-view, but this doesn't seem like Russell's cup of tea.
And of course, circling a project hardly means that the filmmaker will actually end up directing the film. But for those wanting to see another project from The Fighter director sooner than later, there's plenty of projects at his disposal. As a matter of fact, there's a good chance his next project will be an adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook, which we recently learned will reunite Russell with actor Mark Wahlberg. The story follows a history teacher recently released from a mental hospital and ends up being placed in the care of his mother. At first he plans on winning his wife back, but gets caught up in another romance instead.
In addition, Russell also reveals two potential cast members for roles in the adaptation telling THR that he's spoken to Robert De Niro and Angelina Jolie about starring in the film. On Jolie's casting Russell says, “You know, Angelina would really be awesome. I think Angelina would love to be in it, but I don’t know if that’ll happen because of some conflicts in scheduling and other stuff. But I love her and I’ve loved talking to her about several projects. I think that she’s a loaded weapon and ready to be deployed.”
Also, there's one more new project that we hadn't heard about before called The Mission of which Russell says, “It’s very cool. It’s sort of an action-drama.” Well, The Playlist did some digging and found out from a 2008 Variety article the Lorenzo di Bonaventura produced drama is a co-production with Contagion writer Scott Z. Burns (though Peter Landesman actually wrote the script) which follows a five-year plan to locate and rescue three Americans who had been captured in 2003 by Colombian guerilla group FARC. The covert effort involved numerous governments, diplomats and intelligence services and a vast network of spies, military advisers and soldiers plus high-tech surveillance measures. Sounds like it could be a return to his work from Three Kings.
But let's not forget that Russell also has been linked to plenty of other projects like a Buddy Cianci biopic back in April, an adaptation of the comic 2 Guns from January, a family drama called Old St. Louis with Vince Vaughn which surfaced last July, and some kind of Dirty Harry style franchise with Ice Cube we heard about in November. Anymore, Russell has attached himself to plenty of projects that never come to fruition, but if you want some brief thought from Russell on some of these projects, check out the rest of THR's article right here. In the meantime, let's hope at least one of these projects gets Russell back in the director's chair soon. Which one would you like to see?
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