The actor to director move. It’s one that has brought tremendous success to artist who wish to display their creative talents behind the camera lens (Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford to name a few). At the same time, we have also had the unfortunate encounter of an actor bomb his directing debut (yes, we’re looking at you Mr. Cage). Well not to add any pressure, Renée Zellweger is reportedly making her directing debut in film, while Michael Keaton is returning to directorial duties.
Zellweger is set to both direct and star in 4 ½ Minutes, a comedy about the New York City stand-up comedy scene. Costarring the wild man Johnny Knoxville, the story is about a stand-up comic named Jimmy Bennett, described in the Variety piece as a “commitment-phobic, train-wreck of a comedian whose life is falling apart when he takes a job looking after the genius son of single mom P.J. Andersen (Zellweger).” I guess will give it a chance. The movie is supposedly based on the life of stand-up comic Dov Davidoff, who also gets story credit, with scripting duties falling to Anthony Tambakis, who wrote the terrific family melodrama/fighting movie Warrior. Shooting is set to begin in February in New York City.
Michael Keaton, after his recent casting in RoboCop, is set to helm a feature as well. Entitled Buttercup, the Alice O’Neil-scripted project was originally spearheaded by Whale Rider director Niki Caro and according to the report, involves “an adult woman who is forced to assume responsibility for her elderly father after he is arrested for drunk driving again. In doing so, she learns to not only accept his faults, but finally trust the other men in her life.” The title is a reference to the father’s nickname for his daughter. Keaton previously directed 2008.