Both Ron Howard and Paul Haggis are fleshing out their next directorial projects. Let’s start with Ron Howard.
Opie has come aboard to director Robert Ludlum’s The Parsifal Mosaic, which is right in the man’s wheelhouse: A safe, nondescript thriller that needs no imprimatur. Since Howard has no imprimatur. It’s about a CIA operative who thinks he witnessed the execution of his lover after she was identified as a KGB double agent. David Self (The Road to Perdition) wrote the script, and of course Brian Grazer is producing. Better than even odds that Tom Hanks eventually comes aboard as the CIA operative. Because milquetoast sticks to milquetoast.
Meanwhile, the already announced Paul Haggis project, The Next Three Days — an English language remake of the 2008 French film Pour Elle — has found its lead: Russell Crowe. Crowe will play a teacher whose wife is arrested and convicted of a murder she says she did not commit. He comes up with a desperate plan to free her. How unbelievably blah. Haggis penned the script, because what he does best is to smear his hackneyed goo all over other people’s works.
According to Variety, “Haggis told Daily Variety that the drama needed an actor who can thrive as an Everyman who rises when faced with an extraordinary circumstance, and Crowe was his top choice”.
Wow? A movie about an Everyman faced with extraordinary circumstances? When’s the last time Hollywood made a movie matching that description? Oh yeah: Every weekend for the last six years. The casting is spot-on, though. When I think of Everyman, I think of Russell Crowe because, deep down, aren’t we all good-looking Australian actors with shitty bands and a hair-trigger temper?