By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com January 11, 2011 at 2:16AM
The DreamWorks drama "Welcome To People" goes before cameras imminently, and it should prove to be interesting, marking a move into more serious fare for a whole group of actors who, until now, have been more recognized for their involvement in tentpoles and comedies. Following a young businessman who returns home after the death of his father, the film marks the directorial debut of Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the script with Roberto Orci and newcomer Jody Lambert; Kurtzman and Orci being best known so far for writing the likes of "Transformers" and "Star Trek."
Similarly, Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde, whose big-screen roles have been mostly in big action/sci-fi fare, are starring, alongside Elizabeth Banks, an actress best known for comedy, who beat out talent such as Hilary Swank and Amy Adams for what seems to be a sought-after role as Pine's alcoholic sister. Fortunately, they've got an old hand alongside them to back them up, as Deadline reports that veteran actress Michelle Pfeiffer has joined the cast.
Pfeiffer will play Lillian, Pine's mother, and it's a fairly meaty role for the actress. Pfeiffer doesn't work as frequently as she used to, but she's moved gracefully into a new phase of her career in recent years with good performances in "Stardust" and "Cheri" (even if the films she was carrying weren't much cop). She also signed recently to join the cast of Garry Marshall's ensemble comedy "New Year's Eve," which seems to be operating some kind of draft system among Hollywood talent -- once they call your name, you have to be part of it, whether you like it or not.
A quick glance at the script, which landed on the 2010 Black List, reveals it's a step up from Kurtzman & Orci's often inconsistent big-budget work, and a promising, if sometimes familiar drama. With filming kicking off next week, we should see before the end of the year if Kurtzman and his cast are able to deliver on that promise.