Friday, June 21, 2024

Melissa Leo to Join James Franco in “The Fixer,” plus Steve Carell Is One of the “Lunatics”


EXCLUSIVES: It’s going to be a hot summer for Melissa Leo. She’s joining James Franco in “The Fixer,” a movie not based on the famous novel by Bernard Malamud. Ian Olds is directing this screenplay about a war journalist (Franco) who’s been in Afghanistan but suddenly finds himself doing crime reporting in Northern California. That’s where they’ll shoot this film, as well as in Morocco, this summer. Let’s hope they have lots of SPF. Paul Felton co-wrote the script with Olds.

This seems in some way derived from a 2009 documentary directed by Olds called “Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi.” Olds previously edited Franco’s interesting take on “As I Lay Dying” and his “Kink” documentary. He also directed Franco’s vanity doc “Francophenia” and his unseen “Saturday Night Live” documentary…

…More concretely, Steve Carell, I hear, is attached to “Lunatics.” Universal has the rights to the very funny novel by “SNL” legend Alan Zweibel and humorist Dave Barry. Two lunatics are needed, and I also hear that Jack Black is being talked about. It’s a very “Odd Couple” story about two suburban dads, one of whom runs a pet store called The Wine Shop. Let’s cross our fingers that the script– written by Zweibel and Barry– is as funny as the novel, and that they get a good director…




Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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