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Moneyball, Warrior Directors Parlay Heat Into New Projects

by Anne Thompson
September 30, 2011 12:03 PM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Well, Moneyball director Bennett Miller is riding his current heat to attach Steve Carell to star in his long in-the-works Foxcatcher, which returns Carell to a serious dramatic role. And after grabbing raves for wrestling pic Warrior, Gavin O'Connor has sold his speculative script with co-writer Michael Wilson, The Samurai, to Warner Bros.

Carell will play disturbed John Du Pont, a paranoid schizophrenic who was heir to the du Pont chemical fortune. Du Pont created a world-class wrestling training facility, Team Foxcatcher, on his Pennsylvania mansion in the 1990s; in 1996, he shot and killed Olympic gold medalist and close-friend, wrestler David Schultz. While the motivation for the murder was never discovered, it was witnessed by both Schultz's wife and his head of security.

Thompson on Hollywood

E. Max Frye penned the screenplay along with Dan Futterman, who wrote the script for Miller's feature directing debut, Capote. Miller had been developing Foxcacther for the past four years at MRC, and talked to Brad Pitt about playing the role; because they hit it off, Pitt brought Miller in to direct Moneyball, which is a hit with critics and audiences alike. Produced by Miller, Jon Kilik and Anthony Bregman, Foxcatcher is set to start filming in March and is seeking a new distributor. (Here's TOH's interview with Miller.)

While Warrior, starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte, was a box office disappointment, the movie nonetheless boosted O'Connor's industry cred. The Samurai is about a rogue assassin who escapes from a Texas jail-- fleeing to Costa Rica, Colombia, and Paris--sparking an international manhunt. (Read TOH's interview with O'Connor here.)

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