Filmmaker David O. Russell is clearly taken with actress Jennifer Lawrence. After directing the 23-year-old in the 2012 romantic dramedy Silver Linings Playbook as well as the currently in theaters American Hustle, Russell is courting the movie star of the moment for what may be his next project – a still untitled drama concerning the true life rags to riches story of Joy Mangano. As of now, Russell is in the early stages of talks to come aboard as director of the film, which is set up at Fox 2000.
Mangano was once a struggling Long Island mother of three who balanced job after job before making it rich as the entrepreneur behind the Miracle Mop. She became known as the “Miracle of Invention” with her invention that became a cash tree on the Home Shopping Network, making her a millionaire. The film version already has a script written by Annie Mumolo, who along with Kirsten Wiig earned a 2012 Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination for the breakaway comedy hit Bridesmaids. Russell appears to be starting negotiations to deliver a re-write and ultimately direct the film, while perhaps persuading Lawrence to join him for movie number three.
Russell, who appeared to be perpetual movie jail after incriminating footage was leaked on the set of his 2004 comedy I Heart Huckabees, has in recent years proved a successful director for hire, making movies that have succeeded both critically and commercially. His 2010 film The Fighter earned Russell both a directing and screenwriting Oscar nomination, plus netting statues for actors Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook earned eight nominations in total, including a mention in a four acting categories (a feat that hadn’t occurred since 1981’s Reds.) Lawrence won the Best Actress prize and is nominated this year in the Supporting Actress race for American Hustle, which also earned acting nominations in all four acting categories, marking Russell the first director to ever achieve the feat twice in Oscar history.
Who knows if the Joy Mangano story will mark another high water benchmark for Russell or Lawrence for that matter. The very busy young actress has a full plate with the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past and the two Hunger Games sequels on the horizon as well as planned remake of East of Eden to be directed by Gary Ross, the helmer of the first Hunger Games movie. We will follow this films more closely as more details arrive.