In a recent interview with the Phillipine Daily Inquirer, Meryl talked about several things, including her upcoming role as socialite Florence Foster Jenkins in the Stephen Frears biopic. Most interesting to me was that Streep was quoted as saying "I've been working non-stop for the last five years. So this Florence Foster Jenkins will be the last for a while." Of course it is not uncommon for Meryl to take extended breaks after a hectic schedule, at least in film. She went the entire years of 2000 and 2010 without making a single picture.
It begs the question, however, whether Master Class will still happen despite the passing of Mike Nichols, who was attached to direct. Several sources had reported that filming was expected to begin as early as January 2015. Interestingly, I happened to notice that HBO's Emmy-winning film Recount was set to begin filming in the fall of 2007 with director Sydney Pollack, only for Pollack to withdraw just weeks before production due to illness. So there is clear precedent for directors being replaced at HBO. The two productions seem to be of very different scales however, as Recount had hundreds of cast members, and Master Class presumably has only around half a dozen. It may therefore be easier to forego continuing with the latter project.
I also wonder exactly what Meryl means by "break." I recall her on the red carpet this past year for August: Osage County saying something similar, and like a month later she filmed Suffragette and signed on to star in Ricki and the Flash, which is currently underway. I know I'm beating a dead horse, but I continue to have hope that they'll pull The Good House together for a late 2015 filming schedule. You guys, I read the book and was fascinated by the possibility of Meryl portraying Hildy. Plus she'd be re-teamed with Robert De Niro. Make it happen, world.
If we use the filming schedules of The Queen and Philomena as templates for Frears pics, we can reasonably assume that if principle photography begins on Florence Foster Jenkins in May as expected, we can reasonably assume it'll wrap by either late June or mid to late July at the latest. That would still provide Meryl with at least three months before a possible shooting schedule for The Good House would commence. Enough time for a vacation, Meryl? My hope for film releases over the next two years is as follows:
Ricki and the Flash (confirmed release date of 6/26/15)
Master Class (very possible for TV release anytime in second half of 2015 if filming indeed starts in January)
Florence Foster Jenkins (Nov/Dec 2015 release possible if wrapped by June/July)
This 2015 schedule would possibly set Meryl up for several award nominations, most notably for Golden Globe noms in both Drama (Florence) and Comedy/Musical (Ricki) films, as well as in TV Movie/Minseries. All lead of course. I can't imagine anyone has ever been nominated in all three of those categories in one year. Greedy? Perhaps, but I want it to happen.
The Good House
Technically, I want both The Good House and The Senator's Wife to be released in 2016, but the only feasible way I can see that happen is if The Senator's Wife takes my suggested filming spot of The Good House in late 2015 and is released second half of 2016, and then The Good House is filmed early 2016 and is released later the same year.
The pessimist in me predicts that Master Class, The Good House and The Senator's Wife will never get made, and Florence Foster Jenkins will be released late 2016. Hey, at least it'll give Meryl more spread out options for Oscar consideration. Plus, it provides fodder for my Reimagined History Part 5.