The past year has seen a sizable list of potential projects Meryl plans to film. Over the last fourteen months we've learned about the possibilities of The Giver, The Good House, Suffragette, The Senator's Wife, Ricki and the Flash, Master Class and Florence. Wow! We of course know that The Giver and Suffragette were filmed, and Ricki and the Flash is underway in New York.
But what do the next couple of years look like in terms of a filming schedule if Meryl were to actually complete the remaining projects? Master Class, as has been reported, is likely to film in early 2015, considering it has director Mike Nichols attached. The fact that the setting will likely be rather intimate, if based closely on the stage play, and that it's for television (HBO), I don't imagine filming lasting longer than 4-6 weeks. If that starts as late as March, it'll likely wrap by end of April.
Like Master Class, Florence already has a director attached (Stephen Frears), which suggests to me that the project is closer to a filming date than say The Good House. That said, The Good House has a screenwriter in Michael Cunningham, who we know has been working on the script as early as mid 2013, and the production companies FilmNation and Robert De Niro's Tribeca are set to finance it. Both films considered, I have a hunch that Florence is poised to move forward first, as we've heard next to nothing on the status of The Good House for months.
We've heard even less about The Senator's Wife, a film Harvey Weinstein described as a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-like take down of the NRA." Since he revealed his plans to make this movie (starring Meryl) on the Howard Stern Show in January, not even a peep of its possibilities. Were it to happen, it seems like the kind of film Harvey would want to market during a presidential election year. In this case, 2016 would be a great one, especially since we're likely to have a strong female contender in the running.
It's certainly possible that Florence will take a couple more years to go into production. Stephen Frears was designated to direct The Queen in 2003 and the film wasn't released until 2006. If that's the case for Florence, we could expect a release as late as 2017, likely around November, if we're to assume similar strategies to the releases for The Queen and Philomena.
Here's what I hope happens: Consider the possibility of all of the above films having release dates before the end of 2016. How could Meryl fit it all in? There is a way. If Master Class actually begins filming in January and wraps by the end of February 2015, Streep could feasibly start another shoot in the spring. Let's say that's The Good House. If it started in March and ended in May, it's not impossible to have it ready by then end of 2015. That would give us Ricki and the Flash in June, Suffragette in September, Master Class in November/December (on TV mind you) and The Good House in December. I really don't expect any awards recognition for her presumably cameo role in Suffragette, but the other three pictures certainly garner some attention. Imagine Meryl being nominated in three categories at the Golden Globes: Actress Musical/Comedy (Ricki and the Flash), Actress Drama (The Good House) and Actress in a TV Movie/Miniseries (Master Class). I realize this is pretty far fetched, but not entirely impossible.
Were 2015 were to shape up like that, with filming on The Good House wrapped by May, Streep would be open to film The Senator's Wife in late summer/early fall, which would be plenty of time to have it ready before election time in fall 2016. If shooting for Florence could be pushed to early 2016 (not completely crazy as that's only a year and half after it was announced), that too could be put together for a late 2016 release. To summarize this release schedule:
Ricki and the Flash (June)
Master Class (November)
The Good House (December)
The Senator's Wife (October)
Regardless of what happens, I just hope they all happen. It's certainly more realistic that the filming schedule would be more drawn out, considering my suggestion would have Meryl shooting four lead roles in just over a year. It just seems unlikely that other projects won't come along that may be streamlined into production the way Ricki and the Flash has been. As usual, time will tell.