Joe Swanberg Work Wife

Over the past decade, Joe Swanberg has built himself a nice career in the indie realm. He rose to prominence as one of the leading figures of the mumblecore movement, then had two of his most high-profile hits yet in 2013’s Drinking Buddies and 2014’s Happy Christmas. But now he’s ready to mix things up.

Swanberg is set to direct Work Wife, his first-ever studio project, for New Line. Trophy Wife‘s Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins wrote the script. More on the Joe Swanberg Work Wife project after the jump. 

According to TheWrap, Work Wife follows two 30something lawyers who set out to see if they can date their co-workers. Aside from to the studio angle, Work Wife also marks a departure for Swanberg in that it’ll be one of the only films he’s ever directed but not scripted. No actors are attached at this time.

Swanberg has directed 17 features in all, starting with his 2005 debut Kissing on the Mouth. His recent work, including Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas, has been some of his most commercial yet, featuring well known names like Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, and Anna Kendrick.

His latest effort is Digging for Fire, which reunites him with Drinking Buddies‘ Johnson and Kendrick. In their Sundance review, Variety noted that Digging for Fire “continues his march toward the mainstream. Now it seems he’s actually reached the mainstream with Work Wife.

As different as Work Wife is from Swanberg’s other films, he actually seems like a good fit for the premise. Drinking Buddies was also about a romantic entanglement between colleagues, and he managed to tease out the complicated relationship between its leads in an authentic and entertaining way.

Halpern and Haskins are the creators of the dearly loved but little-seen (and consequently short-live) ABC sitcom Trophy Wife. Work Wife is one of a few features they have brewing. They previously scripted Lunch Lady, which is set up at Universal, and the high school comedy Booksmart, which was optioned by Fox.

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