"The Help" has proven itself to be a big hit by all accounts this weekend. One of our writers seemed to be quite entertained by it, critics in general loved it, and according to the box office receipts and Cinemascore, audiences did as well. So it goes without saying that this late summer surprise is going to look good on the resumes of both cast and director alike. And it looks like Hollywood has spent no time at all lining up helmer Tate Taylor's next job.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Taylor is in early talks to direct an adaptation of the 2002 novel "Peace Like A River" for DreamWorks and Warner Brothers. Brad Pitt's production company Plan B has been trying to get this off the ground for some time, and even cast Billy Bob Thornton in a main role, but couldn't find a talent capable of directing a sprawling period drama with a large ensemble of characters. Enter Tate Taylor. The novel follows the story of an asthmatic young boy who joins his family in a search for his brother, who escaped police custody after having gunned down two thieves that broke into the family home. Set in 1962 Minnesota, the novel deals with many of the era’s social problems and controversies, and won critical praise upon its release.
While you could call Taylor out on playing it safe, since the subject matter certainly seems in line with "The Help," you can't blame the guy if he does a good job with this sort of material. While this writer has yet to see Taylor's recent film, it's clear he has an eye for great casting, and a strong eye for period detail. While the story goes on to say that this may not be Taylor's next project, it will still be exciting to see who he lines up to step in front of the camera when the time comes. If studios are willing to do more adult oriented fare like this, as long as it seems worth our while, we'll be in the theater seat.