By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 10, 2011 at 3:17AM
Credit where credit is due; it appears that Matthew McConaughey is done starring in mediocre paycheck fare. After spending years taking off his shirt and smirking through films like "Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past," "Fool's Gold," "Surfer Dude" and "Failure To Launch" (while failing to launch a franchise in "Sahara" and doing forgettable dramas like "Two For The Money"), the actor is striking out in some new directions. His upcoming flick, "The Lincoln Lawyer" seems to be getting better than expected advance buzz and he's lent his name to a couple of bold upcoming comedies, William Friedkin's "Killer Joe" and Richard Linklater's "Bernie." And now, the actor is circling a strong drama that has been stuck in development hell for years.
24 Frames reports that McConaughey is now set to star in "The Dallas Buyer's Club." Written by Guillermo Arriaga ("Babel," "21 Grams"), the film is based on the true story of Ron Woodruff, a man who in 1986 is diagnosed with AIDS and given only months to live, strikes out and starts toying around with underground drugs not approved for use in the U.S. at the time. He would up living longer than expected and began getting these drugs in the hands of other AIDS sufferers as well. Yep, it's some brave, bold subject matter so no surprise it attracted top shelf talent over the years. Marc Forster and Brad Pitt were set to take it on years ago while more recently, Ryan Gosling and Craig Gillespie were looking to make it but the picture never got off the ground.
Formerly set up at Universal, the film is now an indie and it has Jean Marc-Vallée ("C.R.A.Z.Y.," "The Young Victoria") in the director's chair. No word yet if there is financing in place, but Strike Entertainment ("Dawn Of The Dead," "Children Of Men") are still on board to produce, as they have been from the early days of the project.
We're pretty excited this one is coming back to life and props to McConaughey for making it happen. We hope that unlike its previous incarnations, this one will find the pieces it needs to get it finally rolling in front of cameras soon.