Well this is interesting. Jessica Alba’s been in a couple grittier movies, like Machete, Sin City, and Honey, but (and please do correct us if we’re wrong) we can’t remember her taking on a role that put her strictly as the villain. And that’s what makes this bit of against-type casting news so compelling. Alba has signed on to play opposite Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) in next year’s Barely Lethal.
Steinfeld, who has been in demand since her break in True Grit, will play a teenage assassin who foregoes her former life for a “normal” one and enrolls in the local high school. She quickly learns that the social pressures at play can be just as daunting as anything else she’s faced in her life. Alba will play a former associate who seeks revenge on Steinfeld. Also on board for the project is Samuel L. Jackson, who will play Steinfeld’s mentor. The relationship between his character and Alba’s isn’t clear at this time, but we can imagine a situation where Jackson plays the annoyed observer as the two women go after each other.
Barely Lethal is the first feature from writer John D’Arco, an industry vet with experience in physical production. It is currently in pre-production, and will start shooting in October under the guidance of director Kyle Newman, who aside from a number of short films previously directed the Star Wars-centric comedy Fanboys.
Alba will be hitting theaters quite a bit in 2014. In addition to Barely Lethal, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, action-comedy Stretch, and period drama Dear Eleanor will all release next year. Alba will next be seen in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, out in October.