David O. Russell, a filmmaker who continues to land high-profile work despite several accusations of abusive behavior, has a new project lined-up, and it has quite the cast. Christian Bale and Margot Robbie are already on board, and now John David Washington has joined the ensemble as well. Legendary cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki will shoot the movie. And just what is the movie about? No one knows! Well, I’m sure people involved with the movie know, but they’re not talking.
Director David O. Russell has made some memorable films – Three Kings, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and so on. He’s also been accused of being abusive on set, and beyond. Those accusations include pushing an extra to the ground and kicking them, putting director Christopher Nolan in a headlock, treating Amy Adams like garbage on the set of American Hustle, and, most disturbing of all, groping his 19-year-old transgender niece.
I bring these incidents up because I’ve seen many people decry that “cancel culture” is out of control, and yet – it clearly hasn’t put a dent in Russell’s career or hindered him from high-profile work. Make of that what you will. The “difficult director” is an age-old Hollywood cliche at this point, but these alleged incidents seem to go far beyond someone just being a bit of a jerk and enter into abusive territory. And yet, Russell continues to land big gigs with big stars. Case in point: John David Washington is joining the cast of Russell’s latest, which also stars Christian Bale, who worked with Russell on The Fighter and American Hustle, and Margot Robbie.
There is zero information about the project beyond the cast. No logline, no title. Deadline, who broke the John David Washington casting news, says that the movie “The film will be distributed via New Regency’s deal with 20th Century Studios, and that the movie is supposed to start shooting in January in Los Angeles. I like all three leads here – Washington is fast becoming a bonafide movie star; Bale does great work all the time; and Robbie can be quite excellent with the right material. I would like to get excited about the prospect of a movie starring all three of these people. But it’s a little hard to do when I have no idea what the heck the movie is even about, and when I know that said movie is being directed by David O. Russell.
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