Cinedigm via Everett Collection
Looks like Brie Larson is going to break everyone's hearts once more. The Short Term 12 star has landed the lead role in Room, the big screen adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel about a woman and her young son trapped in a single room for years. Room is the fourth high-profile role that Larson has landed recently, after Judd Apatow's Trainwreck, Matthew Quick's Silver Linings Playbook follow-up The Good Luck of Right Now, and Mark Wahlberg's crime drama The Gambler. With such a diverse list of projects on her plate for the near future, it seems as if Larson has a number of possible career trajectories available to her. Will she choose to stick with the quiet indies that have brought her so much acclaim thus far? Will she give up dramas for a while and embrace her comedic side? Is there a major role in a big-budget franchise in her future?
We've taken a look at Larson's upcoming projects and used them to predict where we see her career headed if they become big successes. No matter what happens, you should get to know Larson's work now, so that you can brag that you knew about her first.
Room Although it’s hard to predict what direction Room will take (the novel is told from the perspective of five-year-old son), it’s clear that Larson has a difficult, emotionally intense role in front of her. We could see her career following in the footsteps of Marion Cotillard, whose Hollywood breakthrough was similarly complicated and layered, and who has gone on to play many more dark and complex characters. Since Larson was rumored to be in the running for a role in the upcoming Terminator film, she should have no problem landing a role in a major franchise, like Cotillard, although we see her in one of the more inventive big-budget films. Perhaps something along the lines of Inception? A Cotillard-like career would also allow her to continue to work in smaller indie films, as well as to mix her serious, weighty projects with lighter fare, in much the same way that Cotillard followed La Vie en Rose with Nine and Midnight in Paris with Rust and Bone. And if we don’t see Larson at the Oscars for Room, then it should only be a matter of time before she, like Cotillard, takes home a trophy.
Trainwreck With Judd Apatow at the helm and Amy Shumer writing and starring, Trainwreck is both the only outright comedy and the most mainstream of her upcoming films. Larson’s proven that she can do comedy well, having played supporting roles in 21 Jump Street and United States of Tara, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if her breakthrough came about as the result of her showcasing those comedic chops. From there, she could stick to comedies, a la Leslie Mann, whose supporting roles in Apatow’s projects have allowed her to transition into carrying films on her own. But we think it’s more likely that Larson would emulate someone like Sandra Bullock, who has managed to do both comedy and drama. Like Bullock, Larson would probably stick to starring in big-budget comedies for some time (we see her taking on slightly weirder projects like The Heat rather than becoming a rom com darling), before finding the perfect dramatic role to help her transition back into more serious work. Thus far, Larson has managed to balance her roles in a similar fashion to Bullock, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to find a way to keep a foot in both worlds. Besides, she's so talented and charming that she could easily become the successor to Bullock’s “America's Sweetheart” title, as well as being a future Best Actress contender.
The Good Luck of Right Now Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, who wrote Silver Linings Playbook, The Good Luck of Right Now is a dramedy about four outsiders who come together to form an unlikely family as they deal with pain, loss and major tragedies. Larson would play a librarian who believes herself to have been abducted by aliens, who falls in love with Bartholomew, a 30-something man who is dealing with the death of his mother by writing letters to Richard Gere. The Good Luck of Right Now is a quirky comedy, with a script by Mike White, and so we could see her following in the footsteps of the queen of independent cinema, Parker Posey. Posey has had a long career that ranges from comedies to dramas and small, independent films to big, studio ventures, and since Larson seems to be interested in working on a wide range of projects, including Dazed and Confused and the comedies of Christopher Guest, it seems likely that she might be headed on a similar career path. Posey is also every popular show's go-to guest star, with a particularly memorable appearance on Louie and Parks and Recreaction. With stints on Community and The Kroll Show under her belt, it seems like Larson might already be following in her footsteps. Plus, Larson's got the "endearingly quirky" thing down, so she should have no trouble becoming Hollywood's new indie darling.
The Gambler In this remake of the 1974 James Caan film, Larson will play the female lead opposite Mark Wahlberg, who will take on the role of a professor whose gambling habits threaten to ruin the lives of him and everyone he care about when he gets in over his head with some loan sharks. It’s a dark, gritty supporting role, and we don't see Larson being brushed off as just another "supportive girlfriend-type." Instead, we predict it could set her on an Amy Adams-type career path, as Adams managed to transform another "girlfriend" role in The Fighter into one of the most compelling characters in the film. Although Adams was a more established actress at the time, there are a lot of similarities between her and Larson, from their breakthrough roles in quiet, realistic indies (Junebug for Adams and Short Term 12 for Larson) to their penchant for goofy, over-the-top comedies (Talladega Nights and The Muppets vs. 21 Jump Street) it seems an apt comparison. Emulating Adams would allow Larson to continue to take darker, serious roles in both big-budget and indie films without having to totally abandon her comedic side, and since critics are already predicting that she will soon be an Oscar fixture, Adams seems like an ideal career role-model for Larson.
Who better to save the world from scheming corporate slimeballs than three suburban
girls with spunk smarts--sort of--and catchy choruses to spare? Singer and guitar-slinger
Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook) sets the agenda. Melody (Tara Reid) sweet but slowwitted
bangs the drums. Bassist Val (Rosario Dawson) always watching out for her friends
knows when something's rotten in sleepy Riverdale. Their dream to make it to the
top of the charts becomes a reality when creepy record manager Wyatt Frame (Alan
Cumming) offers the garage band a contract - without hearing a single note. See
Frame's in hot water. He's missing his boy band. Seems an airplane carrying the
four members of DuJour - of "Backdoor Lover" fame - fell off the radar whereabouts
still unknown. Before you can say boxed-set retrospective Frame whisks the re-christened
Josie and the Pussycats to the big city to meet MegaRecords CEO Fiona (Parker
Posey) - just Fiona - and to record a No. 1 album. One week later Josie and the
Pussycats rule. Only the pressures of fame threaten to tear apart these lifelong
friends. And just why are Frame and Fiona planting subliminal messages on such
Josie and the Pussycats songs as "Pretend to be Nice" and "Small Words"? Could
it be that they want to brainwash the youth of America into buying more than just
the singles CD and merchandizing? Will the Pussycats save the day? Of course:
all things must end in a catfight.
Does acting really matter when it comes to such a glossy but exuberant display
of teen spirit? Not really but these feline friends certainly try hard. They
storm their way through the Monkees-style music-fueled montages looking and acting
very much like today's aspiring pop divas. An enigmatic talent used to ill-effect
in such recent disasters as Get Carter Antitrust and Blow Dry
the charming Cook imbues Josie with wisdom beyond her years even if it takes
Josie a while to figure out what's going down. Playing a prototypical blonde bimbo
Reid delivers her dopey asides with breathy giddiness and sincerity. "If I could
go back in time I would want to meet Snoopy " Reid gushes in one of her more
enlightened moments. Of the three Dawson has the least to do. She's tougher than
leather but that's about it. The three do find themselves outmatched by Cumming
and Posey who make a deliciously dastardly duo. Cumming is becoming an old pro
at this having recently menaced Antonio Banderas and family in Spy Kids.
There are some fun cameos including Eugene Levy as himself hosting a hysterical
promotional film about subliminal messages. Yet there's something creepy about
watching MTV personality Carson Daly chase real-life love Tara Reid with a baseball
That Josie and the Pussycats takes itself somewhat seriously as a screed
against rampant consumerism seems both ironic and bewildering. Writers and directors
Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont - of Can't Hardly Wait fame for what that's
worth - rally against corporate America's constant and often overpowering crusade
to persuade teens to buy their products. Yet every scene in the film - every scene!
- features a familiar brand of soft drink shoes or clothes. This is not a film:
it's a shallow and insulting exercise in product placement. You can't see the
message for the ads. Besides Josie and the Pussycats rarely reaches the
inspired heights of its opening. Otherwise Kaplan and Elfont rely on yawn-inducing
MTV-style theatrics tired pop cultural references and terribly self-conscious
in-jokes about the comic book to keep these cats on the prowl.
Parker Posey has signed on to play the villain in the big-screen adaptation of Saturday morning toon classic "Josie and the Pussycats." Tara Reid ("American Pie") and Alan Cumming ("Titus") are in negotiations to join the cast, as well, according to today’s Hollywood Reporter.
"She's All That" star Rachael Leigh Cook is already a lock to play Josie, the leader of the female rocker/super-sleuth group. Posey will portray a 'tyrannical egomaniacal record label CEO.' The story, written by "Can’t Hardly Wait" scribes Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan (who will also direct), has the Pussycats being manipulated by Posey to put subliminal messages in their songs and lure the nation’s youth into media slavery. And no, we’re not making this up.
WHAT ABOUT GABRIELLE? Lucy Lawless is mulling her first movie since becoming a TV star via "Xena: Warrior Princess." The film, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is "Dealing With Donna," an Australian comedy about two dysfunctional women, to be directed by Richard Turner.
ARACHNOPHOBIA: The producing team who brought you "Independence Day" and "Godzilla," then took a break from sci-fi with the forthcoming "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson, is going back to its roots. Centropolis Entertainment will produce a $30 million film called "Arach Attack," a comedy thriller about rampaging, toxic spiders.
THIS AIN’T DUMBO, FOLKS: The Reporter says Jodie Foster and Morgan Freeman will voice elephants in DreamWorks’ next animated film, "Tusker," about a herd of elephants trekking across Southeast Asia.
AVEC DU FROMAGE: Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman will star in an English-language thriller from famed French director Claude Lelouch ("A Man and A Woman"), the Reporter says. Shooting on "T For Thriller" is set for later this year in New York, Paris, Britain and Italy.
WOODY GOES WEST: In case anyone’s still paying attention, East Coast denizen Woody Allen has inked a three-film deal with West Coast-based DreamWorks. Allen's next flick is "Small Time Crooks," due out May 19.