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'Blue Valentine' Director Derek Cianfrance Developing Body Building Comedy For HBO

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 5, 2011 3:13 AM
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Earlier last month, during the extensive press rounds for "Blue Valentine," director Derek Cianfrance began chatting up what was next after the twelve year odyssey it took to bring his relationship drama to the big screen. On the film front, the wait won't be so long as he plans to hopefully shoot "The Place Beyond The Pines," a "Jack London-inspired" tale about "fathers and guns" this summer with Ryan Gosling provided financing comes together. The director also revealed he was working on a project with HBO, and while he didn't elaborate at the time, some details about the venture have now come forward.

Deadline reports that HBO has officially put into development a bodybuilding comedy based on Sam Fussell's memoir "Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder." We'll say this: we can't remember the last time we saw a bodybuilding comedy. Cianfrance will direct and will co-write the script with Fussell. Obviously, this is in very early stages so don't expect it on your favorite home box office channel any time soon. The material is intriguing as it follows an Oxford graduate who spends four years fully consumed in the world of bodybuilding. Check out the full synopsis of the book from Amazon below:

At age 26, scrawny, Oxford-educated Samuel Fussell entered a YMCA gym in New York to escape the terrors of big city life. Four years and 80 lbs. of firm, bulging muscle later, he was competing for bodybuilding titles in the "Iron Mecca" of Southern California-so weak from intense training and starvation he could barely walk. MUSCLE is the harrowing, often hilarious chronicle of Fussell's divine obsession, his search for identity in a bizarre, eccentric world of "health fascists," "gym bunnies" and "muscleheads"-and his devout, single-minded acceptance of illness, pain, nausea, and steroid-induced rage in his quest for the holy grail of physical perfection.

It's definitely an original premise and it sounds like the kind of the unique world that was made for a cable series, so we'll definitely be on the look out for this one. In the meantime, you can go see what all the hype is about: "Blue Valentine" is in limited release now.

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