“Look at you. You have a baby … in a bar!” That line, from Reese Witherspoon’s 2002 comedy Sweet Home Alabama, still make me laugh. And now the Oscar winner might have to pretend to be kind to another baby for the benefit of a big-screen comedy.
According to a release, Witherspoon is coming aboard the feature Rule #1 with the intention of shaping it into a starring vehicle. Even better, she has signed Oscar-nominated director Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) to helm the comedy. Witherspoon has said she’ll produce Rule #1 through her Type A banner, collaborating with Brad Epstein of Panther Films and the business venture of Emmett/Furla Films.
If Witherspoon headlines the pic, she’ll play 34-year-old Diana McBride, a woman coping with her OCD who agrees to take in an unpredictable young stranger – who happens to have a newborn baby – in an effort to face her anxieties. Ultimately, McBride’s plan is to win back her estranged husband by convincing him she can handle her chaotic existence.
It sounds like a role tailor-made for Witherspoon’s Type-A tastes. I’m sure she could do Rule #1 in her sleep, so if she does move ahead with it, I’d be interested to see who they cast opposite her as the single mom, and who might play her estranged husband. In the meantime, audiences will be able to catch Reese as one lag of a Tom Hardy-Chris Pine love triangle in McG’s This Means War, and she recently began shooting the high-concept comedy Wish List for Disney.
‘Frozen River’ Director Boards Reese Witherspoon Comedy ‘Rule #1’
Courtney Hunt will helm project about a woman with OCD who takes in a single mom and her newborn baby in an effort to face her anxieties.
Courtney Hunt, who garnered a best screenplay Oscar nomination for Frozen River, has come aboard to direct Rule #1, a comedy that has Reese Witherspoon attached to star.
Randall Emmett and George Furla of Emmett/Furla Films will produce and finance the project. Brad Epstein of Panther Films is also producing as is Witherspoon and her Type A Films banner.
Rule #1 tells the story of a 34 -year old woman trying to cope with OCD, who takes in a young woman with ADD and her newborn baby in an effort to face her anxieties and ultimately get her estranged husband back. The resulting effort takes the woman’s already chaotic world spinning into the next level.
Terrel Seltzer (One Fine Day) wrote the script for Rule #1, which was initially set up at Fox Searchlight in 2009 before being put into turnaround.
Courtney, repped by WME, made her feature directorial debut with 2008’s Frozen River which, in addition to her Oscar nom, saw star Melissa Leo receive a nomination for best actress. Since then, Courtney has directed episodes of In Treatment and Law & Order: SVU.
Emmett/Furla is in pre-production on Broken City starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones and currently shooting Frozen Ground, a crime thriller starring John Cusack and Nicolas Cage, in Alaska. The company recently announced a new $250 million film fund with Envision Entertainment to finance a new slate of high-end, star-driven commercial feature films.