After earning a second Oscar nomination for her tortured performance in “The Impossible
,” and having recently finished production on her portrayal of Princess Diana (“Diana”), Naomi Watts could certainly use a change of pace from such heavy-handed material. In fact, looking at her filmography from the past few years, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many comedies in the bunch. There’s Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” and of course her riotous turn in David O. Russell's "I Heart Huckabees." Now she's adding another laffer to the bunch. And we don't see how anyone could pass up the opportunity to star alongside Bill Murray, Chris O’Dowd and Melissa McCarthy... The project is “St. Vincent de Van Nuys,” a Black List dramedy from Ted Melfi, which is about a 12-year-old boy who moves in next door to a misanthropic aging retiree (Bill Murray) whose life mainly consists of gambling, hookers, and drinking. The neighbor becomes an unlikely mentor to the boy. Watts will take the intriguing role of a Russian prostitute (!) who starts to become close to Murray's character, and apparently this was a highly sought-after part around town.
Filming on the low-budget indie ($13 million) is slated to begin in July, and hopefully Ted Melfi can deliver on what looks to be a very promising cast and script. [Deadline]