Warner Bros. is finalizing a deal that would team two industry powerhouses in director Steven Spielberg and actress Jennifer Lawrence. The project is It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life Of Love And War, a drama based upon the forthcoming memoir by Lynsey Addario, a notable and prize-winning international photo journalist. The book was recently excerpted in The New York Times Magazine and sparked a heated auction among distributors and talent. If it all comes to fruition, with one of the biggest directors in the world and the hottest actress of the moment, the project could indeed be a major coup for Warner Bros.
Addario’s memoir explores her travels through contemporary war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq. Addario journeyed to Afghanistan in the midst of the post 9/11 invasion and earned credibility for shining a light on and portraying the humanity of the victims in that nation. She won the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2008 and was a part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times team in 2009, rewarded for International Reporting in Waziristan. These accolades and the positive buzz surrounding the soon-to-be-released book struck a chord in Hollywood, igniting a flood of cinematic dream-team scenarios.
Reportedly, Working Title Films put their name in for a bid with Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon (Wild) in mind for the lead role, The Weinstein Company also put in a bid with George Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov. Other interested parties reportedly included Oscar-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and his Oscar-winning Black Swan star Natalie Portman, as well as The Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie. Yet the mix of Spielberg – a colossal prestige get and two-time Oscar winning-director (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan) – and Lawrence – the biggest movie star of the moment (thanks to The Hunger Games franchise) and three-time Oscar -nominee (she won the Best Actress for 2012’s Silver Lining Playbook) – may be one of the most enticing team-ups in recent memory.
Andrew Lazar, who is currently basking in the blockbuster success of another wartime docudrama – the Oscar winning American Sniper – has come aboard to produce It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life Of Love And War. Ironically, Spielberg was initially set to direct American Sniper before Clint Eastwood stepped in. No other names of key players have been circulated as of yet, nor a hint of when the film would go into production, which isn’t surprising considering both Spielberg and Lawrence have quite a bit on their plates for a while.
Spielberg’s next project is the Cold War thriller St. James Place (starring Tom Hanks with a script by Ethan and Joel Coen), which is due in theaters some time this fall. He is expected to follow that up with an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s classic The BFG. Lawrence, whose long delayed Serena is expected to hit screens this month, is currently filming Joy, her third collaboration with director David O. Russell. That film is expected to be released on Christmas Day, a month following the concluding chapter to The Hunger Games franchise. The actress also has an obligation in the form of Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse, where she’s reprising her role as Mystique.
It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life Of Love And War has certainly made an instant impression on Hollywood and we will uncover the latest as soon as information is made available.