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John Travolta & Ethan Hawke Join Ti West's Revenge Western; Steve Carell Is On 'The Priority List' & More

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 18, 2014 at 5:36PM

After going back to his silly comedic roots, reprising Brick Tamland in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," Steve Carell is continuing down the dramatic road he's quietly been carving for himself, by lining up to produce and star in "Priority List." Based on the memoir by David Menasche, it tells the story of a teacher diagnosed with brain cancer and given a few months to live, who goes on to defy the odds.
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Ti West

After going back to his silly comedic roots, reprising Brick Tamland in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," Steve Carell is continuing down the dramatic road he's quietly been carving for himself, by lining up to produce and star in "The Priority List." Based on the memoir by David Menasche, it tells the story of a teacher diagnosed with brain cancer and given a few months to live, who goes on to defy the odds. Here's the Amazon synopsis: 

David Menasche lived for his work as a high school English teacher. His passion inspired his students, and between lessons on Shakespeare and sentence structure, he forged a unique bond with his kids, buoying them through personal struggles while sharing valuable life lessons.

When a six-year battle with brain cancer ultimately stole David’s vision, memory, mobility, and—most tragically of all—his ability to continue teaching, he was devastated by the thought that he would no longer have the chance to impact his students’ lives each day.

But teaching is something Menasche just couldn’t quit. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead of him, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. Cancer had robbed him of his past and would most certainly take his future; he wouldn’t allow it to steal his present. He turned to Facebook with an audacious plan: a journey across America— by bus, by train, by red-tipped cane—in hopes of seeing firsthand how his kids were faring in life. Had he made a difference? Within forty-eight hours of posting, former students in more than fifty cities replied with offers of support and shelter. 

Traveling more than eight thousand miles from Miami to New York, to America’s heartland and San Francisco’s Golden Gate, and visiting hundreds of his students, David’s fearless journey explores the things we all want and need out of life—family, security, independence, love, adventure—and forces us to stop to consider our own Priority List.

It's all early days and no word yet on who will adapt, but it's easy to see why this is seen as a no-brainer over at Warner Bros. where it's set up. [THR]

While Ethan Hawke has become something a horror regular thanks to "Sinister" and "The Purge," it's less familiar territory for John Travolta, and yet the pair make the unlikely leading duo of Ti West's next effort, "In A Valley Of Violence." There are no plot details being made available for this one except that's a "revenge Western" set in the 1890s which will be a genre change for the indie horror maverick. Yeah, that actually sounds pretty awesome. No word yet on when it might shoot, but Jason Blum-produced joints tend to move quickly. [THR]

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are already two good reasons to watch the comedy "Get Hard," so here's one more: Alison Brie. The "Community" actress has joined the film about "a wealthy investment banker wrongly convicted of a crime, who toughens up for prison under the wing of the guy who washes his car." And she'll be playing Ferrell's fiancée. Lucky guy. [Deadline]

"Justified" fave Walton Goggins will be hanging out with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in "American Ultra." The film follows "a hapless stoner who has a Jason Bourne-like awakening when he learns he’s an asset in a complicated covert government scheme gone awry." The guy who directed "Project X," Nima Nourizaden is behind the camera. [Deadline

A 1960s musical with Peter Stomare? Okay, we're curious. He's joined by Jane Levy and Justin Chatwin in "Bang Bang Baby." Here's what it's about: "Stepphy (Levy), lives in the sleepy town of Lonely Arms with her alcoholic father, played by Stormare. Stepphy's dream of escaping to a better life on the stage and screen seems to be coming true when rock star Bobby Shore's (Chatwin) car breaks down in Lonely Arms. When the town creep tells Stepphy that the local chemical factory is leaking dangerous purple fumes that can cause human mutations, she becomes obsessed with hiding the dark secret from Bobby." Production is underway in Toronto. [The Wrap]


This article is related to: Steve Carell, The Priority List, Ti West, In A Valley Of Violence, Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Get Hard, Alison Brie, Walton Goggins, American Ultra, Jane Levy, Peter Stormare, Bang Bang Baby


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