The comedy film Don’t Mess with Texas is finally set to begin production in March of 2014 after having endured a fierce bidding battle that Universal ultimately emerged victorious from. The comedy will star Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. Witherspoon is best known for her Academy Award-winning performance as June Carter in 2005’s Walk the Line as well as starring roles in Legally Blonde (2001) and Vanity Fair (2004).
Witherspoon is currently attached to six unreleased films including Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel by the director of films such as The Master and There Will Be Blood (Witherspoon will costar alongside Sean Penn, Owen Wilson, Josh Brolin, Joaquin Phoenix and Benicio Del Toro). The actress is will also appear in Brian Kirk’s Passengers alongside Keanu Reeves (Kirk is best known for his directorial work on television shows such as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and Dexter). Vergara is most famous for her role on ABC’s Modern Family as the vivacious Gloria. Vergara also has a few films in the works, including Robert Rodriquez’s star-studded Machete Kills, Simon West’s (Tomb Raider) Heat (also starring Jason Statham and Stanley Tucci) and Jon Favreau’s Chef alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.
Don’t Mess with Texas revolves around a prisoner and a cop that are on the run in Texas. If Witherspoon and Vergara’s past comedic work and overflowing résumés are any indication of the success of this female-driven comedy, prospects are looking bright. On a related note, this is the latest in a recent string of female-led comedies, which until recently were a bit of a studio no-no. A Deadline article earlier this year highlighted the pioneering nature of Tina Fey’s work on 30 Rock in the TV realm, an influence felt in movies as well (see, for example, Mean Girls, which Fey wrote). Similarly, the incredible success of Bridesmaids, incidentally written by and starring another Saturday Night Live alum in Kristen Wiig, seems to have paved the way for a number of women-led mass-market comedies to be greenlit. Pitch Perfect was very well received last year, and the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy vehicle The Heat hits theaters in just a few weeks.
Check back in with mxdwn Movies for more details on Don’t Mess with Texas as they emerge.