Mandler has signed on to direct "Dead Of Winter," a Black List script by Sarah Conradt that has "True Grit" breakout Hailee Steinfeld set to star. Not too bad. But unfortunately, it sounds like a pretty rote little thriller. Steinfeld will play a teen who heads to a remote cabin with her father, who hopes his daughter will more closely bond with her new stepmother. But a fugitive posing as a park ranger shows up, and suddenly they are put in danger and have to fight to survive. Haven't we seen variations on this a dozen times already? Here's hoping the script landed on the Black List for a good reason.
Anyway, the film has financing, Lionsgate is angling to distribute, and should all the pieces come together, it will shoot in early 2013. And by then, Steinfeld will be an old pro. This year along she's been shooting "Romeo & Juliet," "Ender's Game" and "Can A Song Save Your Life?" so just add this one to the young actress' ever-growing slate. [Variety]