Jonah Hill is lining up Michelle Williams to star in his directorial debut, Mid ’90s. Having earned plaudits for her role in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, the actor in reportedly talks to play a mother again in Hill’s coming-of-age tale.
Hill has previous writing experience with the Jump Street series and food-porn Pixar parody Sausage Party, but he’s never stepped behind the camera before. Directing his own script, the story is set in 1990s Los Angeles and will focus on Stevie, a skateboarding teenager and his first encounters with alcohol, drugs and sex. Don’t expect Jump Street style antics though – according to Deadline Mid ’90s won’t be as light-hearted as Hill’s previous screenplay work:
“Stevie struggles with the various roles he must play in life: surrogate partner to his co-dependent single mother (Williams), receiver of abuse from his troubled older brother, and invisible stand-in to his wealthier school friends. As Stevie inches his way into acceptance of the crew of skateboarders, he deals with issues of class, race and socioeconomic privilege and under-privilege he’s never experienced before. Stevie’s mother must deal with her son growing further and further apart from her, which spins her out of control.”
Hill impressed us with his transition from comedy to drama in standout supporting turns in Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street, and we’ll have to wait and see whether he’ll be able to emulate that tonal shift as successfully in his writing and directing. Casting an actor of Williams’ pedigree certainly feels like a step in the right direction.
Production is scheduled to begin later this year, with Williams also set to start work on Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck and Sean Durkin’s hotly anticipated follow-up Martha Marcy May Marlene, a Janis Joplin biopic simply titled, Janis.
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