Writer/Director pair Ryan Fleck and Anna Bodin have found a replacement for Jake Gyllenhaal, trading one A-lister for another in Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds takes over the role of the younger of two gamblers in Mississippi Grind, which he will co-star in with Ben Mendelsohn (The Place Beyond the Pines, Killing Them Softly).
Fleck and Bodin have spent nearly their entire careers working together. They’ve previously co-written and directed the features Half-Nelson, starring Ryan Gosling, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a coming-of-age comedy with Zach Galafianakis. Neither film was particularly successful commercially, but both received their share of critical accolades, including a Best Actor nomination for Gosling. In both cases, the movies were deeply personal, character-driven pieces, and Mississippi Grind looks to be no different (a good thing, in our humble opinion).
As mentioned, Gyllenhaal had previously been on board in the role that now belongs to Reynolds, but development limbo and other projects prompted his withdrawal. Mississippi Grind is still seeking full financing, although several producers from Electric City Entertainment are on board, and it’s possible the company will get behind the film before all is said and done. According to Deadline, production is being planned for next year.