Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Common, Kristen Wiig, Taraji P. Henson and Leighton Meester have all signed up for roles in Shawn Levy‘s Date Night. The headline stars, already announced, are Steve Carrell, who I love, and Tina Fey, who most people love and I kind-of-like-a-bit. The films seems set to be some kind of rom-com take on After Hours, or maybe an inverted version of Adventures in Babysitting.
Variety have indicated who the various new cast additions will be playing, and I’ll bullet point that for you after the ever-essential break.
- Mark Wahlberg: a “successful and crazily buff securities expert” who gets to flirt with with Tina Fey. Note that their description says securities, not security. The ‘crazily buff’ description is what inspired the Wahlberg component of the top-of-post image.
- James Franco: a “not-too-bright con man and petty criminal”, so I guess he’ll be bringing back the face fuzz…?
- Leighton Meester: the babysitter. I bet this is the typical 20-somethings as teens casting gambit again.
- Taraji P. Henson: a cop. Variety didn’t include the P, so maybe she ditched it while I wasn’t looking. Apparently, she’s playing the only character to suspect that Tina and Steve’s characters are in trouble.
- Common: a villain. No more information given. Hmmmm.
- Kristen Wiig: Tina Fey’s best friend. Hmmm. Maybe Amy Poehler had something better to do.
There’s a whole lot of hate for Shawn Levy out there. I need to write my big defense of so-called hack directors, really, if I’m going to get under the skin of that one. Maybe next time Paul W.S Anderson makes a movie I’ll have the time or space. Suffice to say, a hack director is infinitely preferable to an insufferably pretentious one who bombards their audience with failed cinematic experimentation. At least a hack’s film has some chance of basic level success in communicating with the viewer.
This here Date Night is one of countless projects that Steve Carrell has been attached to, and of all of them, its possibly the one I was least excited about. My hope, really, is that he does go on to star in The Beaver because, not to put too fine a point on it, Kyle Killen’s screenplay is very good indeed, and Carrell is perfect for the lead(s).