Even after the quick and quiet production of his Greta Gerwig-starring dramedy “Frances Ha,” it's unlikely that director Noah Baumbach is taking on a new, J.J. Abrams level of secrecy to his projects. However, his latest film still does seem to mark a new chapter in the filmmaker's career, with its breezy, optimistic tone and fast-paced approach, and from an early glance at his next film, there are definitely some lingering elements.
A series of clues last winter alerted us to a possible Baumbach/Gerwig cinematic reteaming on at Barnard College, and while the director has mostly remained cagey about his next collaboration with the actress, a few new details have escaped. In a New Yorker piece on the director, Baumbach briefly mentions his follow-up to “Frances Ha”: another New York-set film co-written with Gerwig, and one reportedly much “looser and wonkier” than their previous effort.
The film is without a title thus far (Baumbach dubbed it “Untitled Public School Project” during filming), but the plot is known to follow Gerwig as a “dauntless NY striver." It also stars Lola Kirke -- sister of “Girls” star Jemima Kirke -- as a Barnard undergraduate who aspires to be just like Gerwig's character. Baumbach says the film will be in color (as opposed to the B&W of “Frances Ha”), compares it to both “The Great Gatsby” and Jonathan Demme's “Something Wild,” and confirms it's slated for release next year.
Meanwhile, Baumbach has also collaborated with Gerwig on a movie for DreamWorks Animation about "a woeful dog," and that project is currently in development. It wouldn't be Baumbach's first time writing for kids -- he's credited on both "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" -- and it does seem to be a creative avenue he enjoys.
Before then, though, there's still the deft stylings of “Frances Ha” to experience (which we saw at Telluride and loved), hitting theaters May 17th courtesy of IFC Films. And of course, the long-gestating Ben Stiller drama “While We're Young,” scheduled to shoot this fall -- just another project that's landed fortuitously in line for Baumbach's ever-increasing output.