Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray may be known for their comedy, but they are among the principal cast in a drama – albeit a drama with plenty of humorous potential – out this fall: St. Vincent. The film was in production late last summer under the longer but arguably better title St. Vincent de Van Nuys and now has its first trailer. Newcomer Jaeden Lieberher plays the young son of single mother Maggie (McCarthy) who takes to his cranky new neighbor, Vincent (Murray). Also in significant roles are Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) as the boy’s Catholic schoolteacher and Naomi Watts (Diana) as Vincent’s stripper friend.
For Murray in particular, the tone of the project seems in keeping with his recent choice of projects. Following his Best Actor Oscar nomination for Lost In Translation, a film that specialized in a melancholy semi-absurdity similar to what’s at play here, Murray’s appeared primarily in a steady diet of Wes Anderson movies, with parts in several ensemble pieces like this year’s The Monuments Men thrown in. The hope for fans, certainly, is that the lackadaisical nature of Murray’s character in St. Vincent feel too comfortable, and we might see a new twist on the rawhide old neighbor type.
St. Vincent is the first feature project for writer/director Theodore Melfi, who’s spent the last several years writing, producing, and directing a series of short films. The pic is backed by Chernin Entertainment, the company behind the newest Planet of the Apes films, and is being distributed by The Weinstein Company. Weinstein has a habit of shuffling releases in the latter third of the year based on what films in its stable it thinks most likely to win awards, but for the moment St. Vincent is scheduled for an October 24th release.