Oscar-nominated actress Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons are reportedly in talks to co-star opposite Ben Affleck in The Accountant, a thriller set to be directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior). The film is set up at Warner Bros. with a script by Bill Dubuque (The Judge), and started to take form last month when Affleck and O’Connor expressed interest. The Accountant sets Affleck as a mild-manned numbers-cruncher who moonlights as an assassin. As of yet, it’s unknown what roles Kendrick or Simmons will be portraying.
For Kendrick, the thriller casts the versatile actress in a different climate, adding to the repertoire of a performer who has no fewer than nine titles heading towards screens in the next year. Kendrick was last seen in the indie comedies Life After Beth and Happy Christmas, and will round out 2014 with the plum role of Cinderella in Disney’s highly anticipated adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods, opposite Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Johnny Depp. She will also be seen in the indie Cake, a drama starring Jennifer Aniston that will have a one-week Oscar qualifying run in December. 2015 will bring about two musicals headlined by Kendrick – The Last 5 Years (which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival) and the sequel to her surprise a cappella charmer Pitch Perfect, due out in May. Curiously, especially considering she may be joining the cast of The Accountant, another film on Kendrick’s horizon in Mr. Right, an indie romantic caper in which the actress plays a young woman who falls for a seemingly perfect man, only to find out he’s a hitman. The two films might make a fun double bill.
For Simmons, the next couple of months are likely going to be spent accepting awards and navigating the campaign trail due to the rousing critical success of Whiplash, the current indie in which the actor plays a hard-as-nails conservatory conductor. Reviews for the film and especially Simmons’ electric performance have generated waves since the title premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, nearly ensuring the actor will be in the thick of the awards hunt. Simmons also had a role in the recently released (and vanished) Reitman drama Men, Women and Children. On the awards trail, Simmons may encounter both Kendrick and Affleck (whose Gone Girl may make a vivid impression with critics and Academy voters).
The Accountant is expected to start filming in January.