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Ryan Reynolds Circles 'The Voices' From 'Persepolis' Director Marjane Satrapi

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 10, 2012 8:58 AM
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After the summer of 2011 in which Ryan Reynolds featured in two disappointments -- the superhero flick "Green Lantern" and the body swap comedy "The Change-Up" -- one wondered if the actor's shot at the big time was in trouble. But earlier this year he helped make "Safe House" a big hit (and it now has a followup in the works), next summer he's got "R.I.P.D." (which is also primed for a sequel if it's a hit), and now it seems the actor wants to prove he's got the chops to go with his looks. He's already lining up a role in Atom Egoyan's "Queen Of The Night," and he seems to have earned the attention of another arthouse director as well.

Reynolds is in early talks to star in "The Voices" for "Persepolis" co-director Marjane Satrapi. A long-gestating dark dramedy that once had Mark Romanek and Ben Stiller linked to it, "The Voices" is a Black List script penned by Michael R. Perry ("Paranormal Activity") that tells the story of Jerry Hickfang, a bathtub factory worker who kills the woman in accounting with whom he's been having a relationship. He then starts taking advice from his cat and dog on how to cover his tracks and avoid trouble, all while leading him to some kind of salvation. So yeah, it's high concept, definitely wacky, and the kind of stuff that's great on paper, but hard to pull off in front of cameras.

Production on the movie is slated to start early next year, and we'd reckon that Reynolds' involvement will come down to scheduling as Egoyan's film is slated for a late February start. The actor will also probably want to ensure that Satrapi can pull off the material. But it's clear Reynolds is not adverse to taking some risks, and given the talent that has eyed it previously, it looks like a project that could provide a meaty and distinct role for him. [Deadline]

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  • Sean | October 10, 2012 6:44 PMReply

    I hope this will be a sleeper hit b/c it def sounds like it could be. Reynolds is bleh, never have taken him seriously as a dramatic actor or a good actor at all. However, Satrapi is def a talented director, her stories and films are brilliant. (Persepolis, Chickens w/Plums). Glad to see her move into more "american" films with US actors and films set in this country

  • Lou | October 11, 2012 1:41 PM

    Funny. I think he is very good and above all versatile. Can believably do comedy as well as drama (e.g. Buried). The US must be the only place on earth where people believe that drama is more 'serious' (god, I hate this word, just as much as 'gravitas') and difficult to play than comedy. It is more common for a comedic actor to excel in a dramatic role than vice versa.

  • Michael Parfit | October 10, 2012 10:31 AMReply

    It's true that Ryan's summer 2011 films disappointed. But there's no question that he's a serious and talented actor. I worked with him on a 2011 film that actually was a critical success, a documentary called The Whale, which earned critics picks in both the NY Times and Washington Post and remains beloved by audiences. And I have to say that he was terrific to direct, he was excellent at managing the subtleties of the lines, he did not have an ounce of the prima-donna in him, and he was interested in our film for its content and story, not for what it could do for his image. Those are the kinds of traits an actor must have to make a real career, and he has them. When his abs flab, he'll still be strong.

  • Archer Slyce | October 10, 2012 9:42 AMReply

    As much as I want to believe in Satrapi it really doesn't look great. I'm not a Reynolds fan, specially not as a "comedy performer". And as said here it's a wacky concept, that he might just push toward sub-par dumbness.

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