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Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively & More Testing For 'The Silver Linings Playbook'

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 23, 2011 6:45 AM
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Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Wilde & Possibly Jennifer Lawrence All In The Mix

So what happens when your last film earns seven Oscar nominations and two wins for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress? You get your pick of the lot when it comes to rounding up the cast for your next film.

That's the enviable position David O. Russell now finds himself in as he looks to finding the leading lady for his "The Fighter" follow up "The Silver Linings Playbook," which already has Mark Wahlberg notched for the lead role. The plot involves Pat Peoples (Wahlberg), a former high school teacher who, after being released from a four-year stint in a mental institution, moves back in with his mother; he then seeks to remake himself, finding the silver linings in his life. Risky Business reveals that the big role up for grabs is that of a depressed woman, who after the death of her husband, goes on wild sexual spree, loses her job and eventually becomes friends with and a love interest for Pat. So who is looking to land the gig? Pretty much every sought after actress in Hollywood including Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Lawrence (though scheduling is probably a major issue).

We're not going to go down the pros/cons/what ifs of each choice because, well, that would take far too long. But a couple of things to note: Elizabeth Banks was cast in Russell's "The H-Man Cometh" way back in the day before it fell apart, so he's already well aware of her talent. And for whatever it's worth, Russell has been talking up Blake Lively and her "magic" lately. So if we had to pick two "front-runners" those would be it, followed closely by Rooney Mara, who is obviously one of the big young names these days (though maybe too young) and Kirsten Dunst who has been earning rave reviews for her turn in Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia."

Testing will apparently take place the rest of this week and over the weekend and if all the pieces come together, shooting will start in August, by which time Russell will have attached himself to another half dozen projects.

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  • Glenn Reyn | February 21, 2012 10:45 PMReply

    You guys used a pic of Lively pre-nose job... uh oh, her publicists are going to be PISSED.

  • Capthca | June 27, 2011 10:01 AMReply

    Hathaway didn't turn it down--Russell refused to work with her.

  • steventhathack | June 24, 2011 4:54 AMReply

    Either Harvey has mellowed out and is letting artists have their way or the next 12 months are going to be the most defining for The Weinstein Co. First they get in bed with Paul Thomas Anderson who everyone who's eve met him or worked with him knows he doesn't listen to anyone. Not the producers not the money men . NO ONE. Now they are gearing up for David O Russel.... : O

  • Sara | June 23, 2011 8:36 AMReply

    Rachel McAdams, Olivia Wilde or Andrea Riseborough.

  • sp | June 23, 2011 8:25 AMReply

    Castor, I am not a publicist. I am just making a simple observation.

  • Kathleen Walsh | June 23, 2011 8:16 AMReply

    Thanks Scott, we fixed it!

  • Castor | June 23, 2011 8:01 AMReply

    @sp: Hello Anne Hathaway publicist!

  • Scott Mendelson | June 23, 2011 7:37 AMReply

    Minor typo... you list The Fighter as having won the Oscar for Best Actor, but Christian Bale won for Best Supporting Actor. Carry on... (you can erase this once its corrected if you choose).

  • sp | June 23, 2011 7:19 AMReply

    Wow ! Anne Hathaway had to turn down this role because of her commitment to " Dark Knight Rises ". And , now , every young actress in Hollywood wants that part. Other than Angelina Jolie, it seems like she is the most in demand actress in Hollywood right now . I don't even think Sandra Bullock is as sought after as Anne. Kudos to Hathaway.

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