Saturday, December 26, 2015

Will Meryl star in a 2015 Black List script?

Hope everyone had a great Christmas (I mean this in the most secular way possible)!  Almost two weeks ago now, Hollywood revealed its annual "Black List" of top unproduced screenplays.  I typically enjoy scrolling down the list to see if there are any that could possibly involve Meryl.  It quickly gets a bit disheartening, as not only do very few films center around women, but even fewer around women over 50.  A couple of scripts caught my eye this year, however, with one in particular that I'm going to obsess over until it's announced that Meryl is starring.

Just for context, the script with the highest number of "mentions" received 44.  At 31, we see Miss Sloane.  I previously discussed this script in September when it was purchased at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Depicting a lobbyist fighting for stricter gun control, I continue to wonder if this is different from The Senator's Wife.  

Next, at 16 mentions is Do No Harm (not to be confused with ...First Do No Harm of course).  Said to be about a surgeon whose life "takes a dangerous turn when she indulges in an affair with a doctor whose god complex challenges her own."  It doesn't sound particularly interesting, but it seems possible that Meryl would fit the demographic.  Albeit I picture execs likely wanting to feature a younger, "hotter" actress if much of the film would focus on the affair.

At 14, we find Cut and Run, about a "female urologist and retired hooker who form an unlikely friendship when they team up to take down a notorious sex trafficker in Miami."  Again, appears that it technically could include Meryl, although it reads like it could be more of an action flick?  It could possibly be a social commentary film, bringing attention/awareness to forced prostitution in the U.S.  

Lastly, at 13 mentions and by far most intriguing to me, was Nyad.  Written by Robert Specland, it is "based on the true story of marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, who in 2013, after 4 failed attempts and at the age of 64, became the first person ever to open-swim from Cuba to Florida (55 hours non-stop) overcoming impossible odds, personal tragedy, and 103 miles of open ocean."

I had never heard of Nyad, but quickly began my research.  All the info I needed was best captured in the documentary I watched about her experience entitled The Other Shore.



Ok, on paper this role would seem to tick so many boxes for Meryl: biopic, age 64, physical transformation, intense personality, lesbian who (allegedly) suffered abuse at hands of both her Greek-Egyptian stepfather (Diana does a great accent of him in doc) and Hall of Fame swim coach Jack Nelson.  

I've read in interviews that Meryl swims for exercise.  I don't know if she continues to do so, but if I hadn't known that, I wouldn't have connected the possibility of her portraying this woman.  Not having read the script, I of course don't know how much of it takes place in the water, but I imagine quite a bit.  No doubt the filming would be physically grueling.  Meryl is no stranger to strenuous physical work in preparation for roles (The River Wild) and I wonder if it would take on extra significance were she to undergo it in her 60's rather than her 40's.  If the movie were to be made with Meryl, I expect it would have to be picked up this year with a filming schedule no later than summer 2017, incidentally when Meryl would turn 68.  Such a timeline would also allow for her to film The Good House later this year.

At first I thought Nyad may be too much of a stretch, but the more I think about it, and as I write this post, it seems at least possible, if not plausible.  Can you not totally picture Jodi Foster signing on to produce/direct or even star (as Nyad's trainer Bonnie Stoll)?!  Regardless of your interest in this project, I highly recommend viewing The Other Shore, which can be rented on Itunes.  Excited to hear people's thoughts on the documentary as well as Meryl's conceivable participation in a feature film.

Bonnie Stoll (left) and Diana Nyad (right)
                               

9 comments:

  1. Would love it if this actually happened.... Desperate for info on upcoming films-Jamie

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    1. Yeah it's kind of a tough time for Streepers. Since starting this blog I don't recall a time where we didn't have definitive expectations for what she was going to film next and when. At least we know there are potentially great opportunities.

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  2. You should be Meryl's agent!! Love the blog and have it bookmarked. A fantastic project. Who is the screenwriter of this unproduced script?

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    1. Thanks for reading! Ugh, I can't believe I didn't even list the screenwriter's name! It's Robert Specland. I think I need to go back and edit the post to include it.

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  3. I see that Nyad was recently added to IMDB...- Jamie (fingers crossed)

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    1. Oooo! I want The Good House to film in 2016 and Nyad in 2017.

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  4. Hoping to hear some filming news soon. I wonder how long of a break Streep meant when she said she was going to take time off after filming Florence. I guess I am to give up on hope of The Good House being filmed. After all this time and nothing...still hoping though. Would love to see Streep and Daniel Day Lewis make a movie together. Here is hoping of filming news SOON!!!

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    1. Even if she doesn't film anything until fall 2016,she'll be able to have releases in both 2016 (Florence Foster Jenkins) and 2017. Starting The Good House in Sep 2016 would give Meryl 14 months off from when Florence wrapped.

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  5. It would be really good to see Meryl in a compelling and interesting drama, some of the films on the list sound promising! I remember in several interviews she mentioned swimming - the last time was in order to build her lung capacity to hit the notes as The Witch!

    Although I completely understand Meryl not wanting to get involved in production I do hold hopes of her finding a great little script and putting all the elements together so we see a film through her vision.

    I completely agree that nothing needs to be rushed, we know we will have a (hopefully high quality) film next year and just need one to be made in 2016. My fingers remain crossed for The Good House based on your (undiminishing) advocacy!

    This must be how it felt between 1999 and 2001 when Meryl took her longest break! Could be worse - How did Jane Fonda fans feel during her little sabbatical? haha

    Once again Jeff, thank you for all your tireless work as well as sharing your ever interesting thoughts and ideas - this continues to be the best Streep resource on the web! Happy New Year everyone! :-)

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