Few things are a given, but every year typically sees the arrival of a new Woody Allen film. The iconoclastic writer/director has a 2015 title in the can – a college-set comedy called Irrational Man starring Oscar nominees Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Emma Stone (Birdman), arriving in theaters on July 24, 2015 – yet is already setting his sights on his 2016 feature. Details like the films’ title and plot are – as expected – still unknown, yet the ensemble cast is starting to take shape with Kristen Stewart (Still Alice), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), and Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense) reportedly set to headline.
While Allen’s output in recent years (or decades, depending on who you ask) has been checkered with both acclaimed art-house hits (Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris, Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and forgettable misfires (To Rome with Love, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion), the filmmaker has always been able to dependably attract A-list actors, who are no doubt drawn to the filmmaker’s highly prolific, one-a-year approach to filmmaking. Another aspect of that attraction is the fact that Allen has directed eighteen performers to Academy Award nominations, the latest being Cate Blanchett’s Best Actress win for 2013’s Blue Jasmine (Blanchett’s co-star Sally Hawkins also received a nod in the Best Supporting Actress category).
While his 2014 France-set period comedy Magic in the Moonlight (which starred Colin Firth and Stone) failed to win much favor with critics or audiences, as is typically the case, Allen keeps humming along. There’s no word yet on when and where production will commence, yet Allen’s usual team of producers – Letty Arsonson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson – are all returning as well. It’s not confirmed but it is likely that Sony Pictures Classics (who has provided U.S. distribution for all of Allen’s films since his 2009 feature Whatever Works) will step up to his latest and opt for a typical summer 2016 release.
This feature will mark the first Allen feature for both Stewart and Willis; Eisenberg previously worked worked with him in To Rome With Love. It also marks the third on-screen reunion for Stewart and Eisenberg who starred together in the 2009 coming-of-age film Adventureland and teamed up for the indie comedy American Ultra, which is due in theaters later this year. Willis will next be seen in the Barry Levinson-directed comedy Rock the Kasbah alongside Bill Murray, Kate Hudson, and Zooey Deschanel. Outside of Irrational Man and this upcoming film project, Allen is also developing a half-hour series for Amazon, which the auteur will write and direct.