By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 31, 2011 at 10:42AM
It's been a while since Chris Weitz has done anything low-key like "About A Boy." He followed that film with two tentpole efforts -- "The Golden Compass" and "Twilight: New Moon" -- with the former leaving a bad taste in his mouth (he said New Line treated him like dirt. Ouch.) And while the mega success of 'New Moon' was the ultimate fuck you to New Line -- and while he was contemplating the director's chair for "Breaking Dawn," he ultimately didn't do it saying that "my mind would explode" if he entered a third tentpole film.
Instead, Weitz returned to his earlier roots of smaller-scale films and knocked out "A Better Life" (formerly known as "The Gardener"), shooting the film last summer. Starring Demian Birchir (Fidel Castro in “Che”) the film follows the woes of an undocumented illegal worker as he tries to make a living for his family life as, yes, a gardener. The film will be released by Summit later this year and for those Twihards bummed that Weitz won't be involved with any more Twi-films, he thinks that his latest may be worth their attention.
"....if a fan of 'Twilight' came away from watching 'New Moon' with a sense that that movie has been done well by me and my crew, they might be interested in seeing another film that deals with some pretty intense feelings and, frankly, packs a tremendous emotional wallop. I'll put it this way: I bet that Bella would go see 'A Better Life.' I bet she'd make the drive out to Port Angeles. And I bet she'd like it," Weitz told Cinematical who debuted the poster. So will Demian Birchir become the next RPatz heartthrob? Only time will tell.
And if the material seems at odds with the director who directed a Hugh Grant dramedy and a Chris Rock comedy, it's actually a lot closer to his heart than you would think. "Part of my ancestry is Mexican. My grandmother came here in the 1920s, my wife is half-Cuban and half-Mexican, and it is high time that I learn to speak Spanish properly. ... [This is] a studio film made in East Los Angeles with exacting fidelity to the culture and the neighborhood and the everyday lives of the characters," Weitz said.
The film boasts a pretty strong technical crew with Javier Aguirresarobe ("The Road," "Vicky Cristina Barcelona") lensing the pic and Alexandre Desplat scoring the film. We're definitely curious to see Weitz return with a indie drama and with Birchir in the lead, we have high hopes.