Director in talks for McConaughey comedy

David O. Russell is in talks to direct Matthew McConaughey in “The Grackle,” a raucous comedy for New Line. McConaughey is producing with his j.k. livin’ accomplices Gus and Mark Gustawes.

The script by Mike Arnold and Chris Poole prompted a bidding battle two years ago (Daily Variety, June 23, 2006), before New Line got it as part of a two-picture deal. McConaughey will play a barroom fighter in New Orleans who hires himself out for $250 to settle disputes for people who can’t afford to hire a lawyer. Harsh language and quick fists are his weapons of choice.

The project will aim for an R rating and fits more closely in the mode of “Wedding Crashers” than some of the romantic comedies and adventures in which McConaughey has starred recently.

Russell just completed “Nailed,” the Jessica Biel-Jake Gyllenhaal film that had halted production several times because of the cash crunch experienced by financier Capitol Films. Pic is in post-production.

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