By Simon Dang | The Playlist November 16, 2011 at 12:40PM
After being initially announced early last year with an eclectic ensemble cast, it looks like Shirley MacLaine is the sole survivor for the new iteration of indie-comedy "Wild Oats." Joining her now, however, looks to be the late-blooming Jackie Weaver who'll play MacLaine's best friend and Alan Arkin, whose also set to join in an unknown role.
Howard Deutch is also on board replacing "Blonde Ambition" helmer Scott Marshall as helmer, however, no word yet on potential returns from the originally reported cast which included Christopher Walken, Maria Bello, Christina Ricci, John Corbett and Bill Pullman. With the only the trio of MacLaine, Weaver and Arkin reported by Variety, we're guesing there's been major casting shake up since (which is not usual as indie movie financing to get productions rolling can be tricky).
The story will center MacLaine's character who accidentally receives a Social Security check in the amount of $900,000 instead of the normal $900. At the incessant urging of her best friend (Weaver), she deposits the money and escapes the small Ohio town for Las Vegas -- where their new life seems to be short lived when they discover that they have become media sensations and fugitives overnight, forced to outwit a trio of conmen and dodge Social Security agents. It seems the script has also been revamped slightly as in the original logline, the lead runs away to Vegas with her granddaughter (the role previously pegged for Ricci) rather than her best friend after scoring the mistaken Social Security payment.
Partnering with MacLaine would certainly add another impressive string to Weaver's bow having caught Hollywood's attention with her turn in "Animal Kingdom." She's since teamed with Jason Segel, Emily Blunt and co. on "Five-Year Engagement" and stars opposite Robert De Niro in David O. Russell's "The Silver Linings Playbook" as Bradley Cooper's mother. MacLaine, meanwhile, is going relatively back-to-back after appearances in "Valetine's Day" and Richard Linklater's forthcoming "Bernie." Lensing on "Wild Oats" is set to begin in Pittsburgh and Vegas mid-January.