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In the Works: Details Emerge from Joe Swanberg's Upcoming 'Happy Christmas,' Starring Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! July 29, 2013 at 12:52PM

Writer-director and actor Joe Swanberg has a new film, "Drinking Buddies," currently on VOD and in theaters this August, but that doesn't mean he's taking a summer vacation. He's editing his next film, "Happy Christmas," and has teased out some details about the cast, including the roles played by Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham and Melanie Lynskey.
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Joe Swanberg at SXSW in 2013
Joe Swanberg at SXSW in 2013

Writer-director and actor Joe Swanberg has a new film, "Drinking Buddies," currently on VOD and in theaters this August, but that doesn't mean he's taking a summer vacation. He's editing his next film, "Happy Christmas," and has teased out some details about the cast, including the roles played by Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham and Melanie Lynskey.

While promoting "Drinking Buddies," Swanberg told HuffPost Entertainment that the film concerns a young couple (played by Lynskey and Swanberg) whose lives are interrupted by the arrival of an unwelcome house guest, a sister who moves into their basement. Now seen in "Drinking Buddies," Anna Kendrick plays that sister, while Mark Webber -- writer, director and star of 2012's semi-autobiographic "The End of Love" -- portrays the couple's babysitter. Meanwhile, "Girls" creator and star Lena Dunham, currently working on the HBO series' third season, rounds out the cast as a college friend of Kendrick's character.

A remarkably prolific director and one of the originators of the so-called Mumblecore movement, Swanberg describes "Happy Christmas" as a "family comedy." Once the film is finished, he hopes to take it to the early festivals next year, including Sundance, Berlin and of course South by Southwest, where "Drinking Buddies" premiered and received warm reviews. (Read TOH!'s review of "Drinking Buddies" here.)

This article is related to: News, Joe Swanberg, Joe Swanberg, Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.