You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Michael Keaton to direct ‘Buttercup’

Thesp replaces Niki Caro on the Alice O'Neil-scripted pic

In the midst of a career resurgence following his casting as the villain in “RoboCop,” Michael Keaton has become attached to direct the indie dramedy “Buttercup” for Michael London’s Groundswell Prods.

Keaton replaces Niki Caro on the Alice O’Neil-scripted pic, which Sarah Polley was once attached to direct.

Story follows 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. Pic’s title refers to the father’s nickname for his daughter.

Jennifer Aniston and Alan Arkin were previously attached to star, though they are no longer involved with the project, which is currently casting.

London is producing with “Runner, Runner” scribes Brian Koppelman and David Levien. While the two-hander deals with dramatic subject matter, O’Neil’s script is said to feature comedic elements that humanize the protags.

“Buttercup” would not mark Keaton’s helming debut, as he previously directed himself in the 2008 indie “The Merry Gentleman.” Scribe Ron Lazzeretti had intended to direct “Gentleman” but he fell ill before shooting started, prompting Keaton to save the day by taking on a new challenge.

Keaton, who recently played Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell’s boss in “The Other Guys” and voiced the role of Ken in Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” will next be seen terrorizing Michelle Monaghan in the indie thriller “Penthouse North.” Thesp recently replaced Hugh Laurie as the baddie in MGM’s “RoboCop” remake and will soon begin filming Greg Mottola’s HBO telepic starring Larry David and Jon Hamm.

Keaton is repped by ICM Partners and Ziffren, Brittenham.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Taiwanese director Fu Yue

    China, Taiwan in Film Awards Face-off With Roosters, Horses Scheduled on Same Day

    Despite rising political antagonism, China and Taiwan have for years been able to put aside their differences for a night of shared glitz and glamour at the annual Taipei-based Golden Horse Awards, known as Asia’s Oscars. But with cross-strait relations at a nadir, that’s about to change.  Chinese-language cinema is set for a showdown the [...]

  • Julia Roberts Harriet Tubman

    Studio Exec Suggested Julia Roberts Play Harriet Tubman, 'Harriet' Screenwriter Says

    Multi-talented multi-hyphenate Cynthia Erivo plays Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ biopic “Harriet.” But according to “Harriet’s” screenwriter, Gregory Allen Howard, Julia Roberts — yes, white woman Julia Roberts — was once suggested by a studio executive to play the role. In a Q&A for “Harriet” studio Focus Features as well as a piece for the [...]

  • Atlantics

    Variety Names 10 Directors to Watch for 2020

    Before film critics start summing up the present year at the movies with a deluge of Top 10 lists, Variety gazes into the medium’s future by announcing its annual 10 Directors to Watch — a lineup of filmmaking talents who’ve stood out on the recent festival circuit, or whose movies will soon be hitting screens [...]

  • Napa Valley Film Festival Winners: 'Lucky

    'Lucky Grandma' Wins Napa Valley Film Festival Narrative Feature Prize

    “Lucky Grandma,” “The Remix: Hip Hop in Fashion” and “The Nomads” were among the winners of the Napa Valley Film Festival, which ran Nov. 13-17 in various towns in the valley. The winner of the narrative feature was “Lucky Grandma,” presented by ZD Wines, which won a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley. [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' to Blast Off in China in December

    The Brad Pitt-starring sci-fi blockbuster “Ad Astra” will land in Chinese theaters on December 6, more than two months after its U.S. debut. Directed, co-written and produced by James Gray (“The Lost City of Z,” “Two Lovers”), the thriller also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland and Ruth Negga. Pitt plays an astronaut [...]

  • Fred Wolf to Direct 'Love 40'

    Film News Roundup: Fred Wolf to Direct Tennis Rom-Com 'Love 40'

    In today’s film news roundup, Fred Wolf is directing a romantic comedy in New York; Leah Remini, Chinoye Chukwu, Marielle Heller and Lulu Wang receive honors; and the topless bar documentary “Red Dog” finds a home. ‘LOVE 40’ Bluewater Lane Productions has brought on Fred Wolf to co-write and direct the romantic comedy “Love 40,” [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Lupita Nyong'o Follows Hollywood's Tradition of Two Roles in One Film

    Peter Sellers played three roles in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 “Dr. Strangelove.” In December of that year, Variety reported that Columbia was mounting an Oscar campaign for lead actor, but was also considering three supporting-actor campaigns, for each of his characters. (They settled on one campaign, and Sellers’ nomination as lead actor was one of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content