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Viola Davis Jumps Onboard Two Major Film projects

by Sergio
February 2, 2012 6:02 PM
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Viola Davis' dance card is getting filled up pretty quickly with future projects; Variety has reported that she's joined the cast of two major film projects to be shot this year.

The first is the sci-fi thriller Ender's Game based on the novel by Orson Scott Card, to be produced by OddLot, K/O Paper Products and Digital Domain. She'll co-star along with Harrison Ford, , Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), and Abigail Breslin, with South African diector Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Wolverine) directing and scripting the adaptation.

According to the synopsis the film is "set in Earth's utopian future and follows a genius strategist recruited by the government to help destroy an insect-like alien race. Davis will play a military psychologist who oversees the emotional welfare of the young trainees in the program and who also helps design the games that test their skills and resilence."

After she finishes work on that film, she's set to star later this year as the female lead in a film titled Beautiful Creatures,  which will be written and directed by Richard LaGravenese.

In that film, centered on two teens who must confront a curse that has haunted the girl's family for generations, Davis will play a librarian and a friend of one of the teenage boys' deceased mother, and who will do whatever is in her power to protect him.

And all that is on top of the HBO project she's currently developing with Pariah filmmaker Dees Rees.

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  • Tamara | February 3, 2012 10:58 AMReply

    I like the "Ender's Game" role. I've never read Orson Scott Card but am familiar with him and his works as a sci-fi author. Onward and upward. Happy for her.

  • Nicole | February 2, 2012 7:45 PMReply

    I tell ya, people just can't be happy for the woman. At least she didn't sign up for The Help 2.

    And it's unfair to compare her to Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone. Not only are they white, they're younger. Viola probably wouldn't be up for any of the roles they would get anyway.

  • Anwar | February 3, 2012 1:35 AM

    @Nicole: I agree that we don't know what types of roles she wants to play. But this is not the type of film most actors are desperate for. It's not a new franchise. It's just a sequel. I'm sure this is mostly a nice paycheck for many involved at this point. We can't assume she wasn't offered a part or was even a fit for any character in the film. I don't know why we picked a random animated film we know little about to speak on the limited opportunities black women get. Jessica Chastain getting a part is not enough to compare so I agreed with your main point. Just because it's animated doesn't mean ANYONE can do ANY part. haha

  • Nicole | February 3, 2012 1:05 AM

    @Anwar: We don't know what types of roles Viola "wants" to do. If she's the type of actress she appears to be, then she wants to do a variety of roles to show off her range.

    @Someone: If doing "voice work" only requires pj wearing skills and standing in a booth, why haven't more actors done it and for that matter why haven't there been more actors of color cast for this type of work? When the studios cast actors for these roles, I doubt they get some "random" actor and stick them in a booth. If that were the case, why pay Tom Hanks and Eddie Murphy millions to reprise their roles in Toy Story and Shrek? Because neither franchise would be the same or probably as profitable with some "random" actor.

  • Anwar | February 3, 2012 12:49 AM

    Madagascar 3 is not something actors are really lining up for to expand their resume. It's just a paycheck job. At this point, I doubt that she's not doing those type of films because she's not offered them. She probably just doesn't want to. Most actors don't. I mean, the cast is a combination of comedians and character actors. It's not filled with every Hollywood heavyweight and I doubt they would refuse to hire her when you won't even see her. If you are at stage in your career where you're trying to build something substantial because you're finally given that respect and you're not hurting for money, there is no need to do it. I certainly wouldn't use that as an example of the inequality in Hollywood.

  • Someone | February 2, 2012 8:59 PM

    Madagascar 3 which is by the same studio, dream works, requires actors to stand in a booth in their pjs to recite lines into a mic for 500k..I am very sure Viola could have done that!!

  • Someone | February 2, 2012 7:14 PMReply

    I feel bad for her.. When Jessica Chastain has 7 new projects lined up, including having the audacity to play Princess Di, I feel like it's wrong to say Viola is doing "ok".. She has been in the industry too long to not be able to be cast as a voice in Madagascar 3...what does it take for Hollywood to get as excited as a black actress as they do these proverbial white girls???

  • SayNay | February 2, 2012 7:29 PM

    Right?! Or Emma Stone who also has a great number of things lined up as well. Honestly they'll probably never get excited, so we'll have to keep doing our own thing.

  • KeepingITReal | February 2, 2012 6:41 PMReply

    Oh Yeah!!! Congrats!

  • SayNay | February 2, 2012 6:22 PMReply

    I really hope that this will translate into more roles and not just the usual you're hot for maybe a year after you win something and then disappear.

  • Mecca | February 2, 2012 6:11 PMReply

    Congrats to Viola!

    I'm not too excited about the "Beautiful Creatures" project. She plays a BBF.

  • Anwar | February 3, 2012 12:57 AM

    A "BBF" to a dead woman is hardly the same thing as playing a "BBF" to a white woman that goes on a journey while you sit back, nod and smile. Everyone is a friend to someone. This is a supporting role but it doesn't sound like the the typical "BBF" role that people criticize. In a way, she seems like she almost plays the substitute mother.

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