Coens eye ‘Intolerable’ pic

Clooney close to signing up; Roberts a prospect

NEW YORK — Joel and Ethan Coen are negotiating to make their next film the Universal black comedy “Intolerable Cruelty,” with the duo plotting a reteam with their “O Brother, Where Art Thou” star George Clooney.

The project will be directed by Joel Coen and produced by Ethan Coen, who’ll join Brian Grazer, Jim Jacks and Sean Daniel in what is shaping up as a co-production between Imagine and Alphaville.

As Clooney closes in, speculation is rife that the studio will attempt to land Julia Roberts to join him. Thesps just completed “Ocean’s Eleven” for helmer Steven Soderbergh.

Clooney is in talks for the role of a Hollywood divorce lawyer who finds himself the target of revenge by a client’s ex-wife. Along the way, the inevitable romantic sparks commence.

Over the past four years, “Intolerable Cruelty” has come close to a start several times, and it has been a magnet for A-list elements. Ron Howard and Andrew Bergman are among the directors who developed it. Most recently Jonathan Demme seemed poised to make the film with Hugh Grant and Tea Leoni. Later, he organized a script reading that was to include Will Smith, with whom he has long wanted to work. That reading didn’t happen and Demme has departed.

The Coens have a long history with the project as well. They were brought in years ago to rewrite the original script by Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone. While other versions of the script have been commissioned since, the parties kept returning to the version that has the kind of dark bite a Coen script tends to possess.

The Coens never got more serious than screenwriters, however, because they were committed to directing Brad Pitt in “To the White Sea.” When that film fell apart, the producers and the studio moved to lock in the siblings, who had enjoyed working with Clooney and were seeking to do another project with the actor.

Clooney, who’s working on his directorial debut, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” for Miramax, is repped by CAA; UTA reps the Coens.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading