By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 18, 2011 at 9:35AM
This business moves fast. We'd barely finished hitting 'publish' on a post about "Community" star Gillian Jacobs joining the Steve Carell/Keira Knightley comedy-drama "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," and our inbox pinged with a press release from Focus Features, who recently acquired the film. As it turns out, Jacobs wasn't the only actor to come on board the film recently.
The film, the directorial debut of "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" writer Lorene Scafaria, stars Carell as a man who, when an asteroid is about to bring about the end of the world, enlists his neighbor, to be played by Knightley, to search for his childhood sweetheart, and filming kicked off this week. This means that aside from the central pair, Jacobs, and the already-announced William Petersen, Adam Brody, Derek Luke, Rob Corddry and Lindsay Sloane, half of Hollywood have been announced as taking part in the film.
So, in order of how familiar we are with them, they are: Oscar-nominated veteran Melinda Dillon ("Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Magnolia"), great unsung character actor Melanie Lynskey ("Heavenly Creatures," "Up in the Air"), stand-up turned actor Patton Oswalt ("Ratatouille," "Young Adult"), the very funny T.J. Miller ("She's Out of Your League," "Successful Alcoholics"), the equally funny Rob Huebel ("Human Giant," "The Other Guys"), TV favorite Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), Mark Moses (Duck Phillips in "Mad Men") and a handful of TV actors we couldn't pick from a line-up -- Roger Aaron Brown ("The District"), Tonita Castro ("Funny People") and Bob Stephenson ("Jericho").
It's a pretty mean premise, and we continue to be impressed by the additions to the cast -- there's a number of Playlist favorites assembled here. The big question here is whether first-time director Scafaria can pull of what seems to be a tricky mix of tones, as well as a whether the seemingly mismatched Carell and Knightley can convince as a potential romantic pairing. Filming's now underway, and we'll likely see it on the festival circuit -- Sundance? SXSW? Toronto? -- sometime in 2012.