By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood January 17, 2011 at 8:14AM
- Alex Kurtzman is veering away from his writing roots (M:I 3, Transformers, Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens) in his directorial debut, Welcome To The People (which he co-wrote with Jody Lambert and long-time writing partner Roberto Orci). In the DreamWorks drama, a young businessman (Chris Pine) loses his father and must deliver an inheritance to his long-lost alcoholic sister (Elizabeth Banks, who nabbed the role Hilary Swank wanted; Amy Adams passed). He discovers that his sister now has a volatile 12-year old son. Rather than deliver the money, Pine reaches out to his sister and nephew without revealing who he truly is. Olivia Wilde joins the cast as Pine's girlfriend, and Michelle Pfeiffer plays his mother. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass (Cyrus) just signed on to play a neighbor and love interest for Banks' character. The film is set to roll this month.
Duplass has a handful of other projects in the works. He's acting again for old pal Lynn Shelton (Humpday) on an untitled project co-starring Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt (The Company Men). He's part of Lawrence Kasdan's stunning ensemble on Darling Companion (Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard and Kevin Kline) and co-writes and directs Paramount's Jeff Who Lives At Home with his brother Jay Duplass. Jason Segel and The Hangover's Ed Helms star.
- Rosemarie DeWitt and Dianne Wiest will cross paths themselves in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a Disney fantasy based on a story by Ahmet Zappa and a screenplay by director Peter Hedges. The story follows a barren couple, played by oddly-paired Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom), who bury their wishes for a child in their backyard, only to wake up and discover that a child (not all that it appears to be) has been born. DeWitt plays Garner's sister, while Wiest (whose involvement is still in negotiations) would play Garner's boss. The film will begin shooting in Atlanta the end of January.
Edgerton will also be seen across from Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison and Nick Nolte in Lionsgate's September release Warrior, Universal horror-remake The Thing (out in October) with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Australia's mystery-drama Say Nothing, which is currently filming with Theresa Palmer and Anthony Starr, of New Zealand's hit TV crime-family drama Outrageous Fortune.