With filming underway for season 2 of Big Little Lies, I thought I'd do one of my favorite things and post about my wishes/predictions/expectations for Meryl's upcoming filming schedule. Let's jump right in.
We already know that 2018 will bring us two feature films involving Meryl in likely rather small roles: Mama Mia! Here We Go Again July and Mary Poppins Returns in December. It's interesting that both roles are in sequels, something I don't think Meryl has ever done before, nor had I expected her to. But they're not the traditional "this film was good so let's make sure we immediately bank on the first film's success," as Mama Mia! is ten years later, and Mary Poppins over fifty. Big Little Lies is likely to release to HBO first quarter 2019, which leaves us to speculate about what roles will be in her near future.
The only other realistic possibility that has already been announced is the limited series The Nix. Nathan Hill's novel has reportedly been adapted into about nine episodes for television, but it has yet to land a distributor. Maybe we'll see that come to fruition for filming this summer or early fall, but if J.J. Abrams is expected to direct any of the episodes, he likely won't be available until 2019, as this year he'll be busy on some obscure little indie pic called Star Wars.
Let's say The Nix does eventually happen but that its filming is postponed to spring/summer 2019. That would likely mean a 2020 release. Not a bad idea considering its a politically charged story and that will be an election year that is certain to have tensions running high. Call me obsessed, but I've also been thinking lately about how great it would be to see The Good House filmed for television in a limited series a la 2014's Olive Kitteridge on HBO, starring Frances McDormand. It would provide a more thorough delving into the lush character of Hildy Good, without the constraints of the two hour package typically required for film. The story would work nicely as four episodes and if were somehow already planned, could be ripe for filming this fall.
I would expect that a limited series for The Good House would release on television fourth quarter 2019, again like Olive Kitteridge. That brings us to 2019. I've previously posted how great it would be to see Meryl star in Nyad, as marathon swimmer Diana Nyad as she battles to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark tank. A summer/fall shooting schedule would be adequate for a summer 2020 release. A handful of Streep films have done very well in that August time slot, which, in 2020 would coincide with the summer Olympics. What better marketing tool to have for an inspirational story about a competitive swimmer?
The following two years could be relatively conventional. A lead role in a Greta Gerwig vehicle for a 2021 release, followed by a sure to be mind-blowing pairing with Jessica Lange as Edith Windsor and Streep as her wife, Thea Spyer.
The whole schedule could look something like this:
Mama Mia! Here We Go Again (July)
Mary Poppins Returns (December)
Big Little Lies (~February)--TV
The Good House (~November)--TV
The Nix (~May)--TV
Greta Gerwig project
Edith Windsor/Thea Spyer biopic with Jessica Lange
The proposed timeline would be a delightful combination of lead and supporting roles on television and in film, of biopics, literary adaptations and original stories.
Why not, right?