The first time David O. Russell teamed up with Mark Wahlberg, it was on the outstanding "Three Kings," but their follow-up was something of a mixed bag: "I Heart Huckabees" divided critics, and was mostly ignored by audiences. But Wahlberg was brilliant in it, and their third collaboration, "The Fighter," was far more successful, picking up Oscar nominations and a hefty box office take, and the two seemed to be a good team. Unfortunately, their next mooted film was the video game adaptation "Uncharted" which, while we have faith that Russell would turn out something more interesting than, say, "Mortal Kombat," it didn't necessarily seem to be the best use of their talents.
Fortunately, something else seems to have jumped the queue: Vulture reports that Wahlberg is now attached to a long-in-the-offing Russell project entitled "The Silver-Linings Playbook," an adaptation of the novel by Matthew Quick. The film was originally announced back in 2008 by The Weinstein Company, and seems to have been constantly at the back of Russell's mind ever since, but it's now moving forward, with the artist formerly known as Marky Mark in 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 in the hopes of reconciling with his ex-wife. Anne Hathaway was linked to the project back in December, and there's no word on whether she's still involved, but it certainly seems like Bradley Cooper, who was connected with Wahlberg's role at the same time, is out of play.
Vulture suggests that this film has leaped above "Uncharted," which was at one point set to shoot this summer, and the half-dozen other films that the director was circling -- and we wouldn't see it as a big loss if the Playstation movie disappeared entirely. Anyway, good news all round, particularly as it suggests that we won't have another half-decade absence from Russell, one of our favorite working filmmakers.