Bennett Miller

After Tom Hanks, Steve Carell may just have the nicest of nice-guy images in Hollywood. True, Michael Scott could be a jerk, but deep down he was a big ol’ softie who just wanted to be loved. In the movies, Carell’s tended to play sweethearts in warm comedies like Crazy, Stupid, Love. and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Even when he voices an out-and-out villain like Despicable Me‘s Gru, he turns out to have a cuddly side.

Which may be why he had to go undergo a dramatic physical transformation, including a whole new nose, to bring out his dark side in Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher. The fact-based drama stars Carell as John DuPont, a mentally unstable chemical heir who befriended two Olympic wrestler brothers (Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum) and ultimately killed one of them. Hit the jump to see the first official image.

[Updated with higher-res image via The Film Stage.]

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Bennett Miller

Briefly: One of the year’s most highly anticipated films that had been still waiting for a release date has just officially entered the awards race. It’s Foxcatcher, the true story of an Olympic wrestler whose brother was murdered by a mentally unstable millionaire. Bennett Miller, whose films Capote and Moneyball were both nominated for Best Picture Oscars, is at the helm.

This time, his cast includes Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell. Sony Pictures Classics will handle distribution instead of Columbia Pictures and release the movie on December 20. [THR]

Is America ready to see lovable everyman Steve Carell as a mentally ill killer? Columbia hopes so. The studio has just stepped up to co-finance (with Annapurna Pictures) and distribute Foxcatcher. It’s a fact-based drama from Bennett Miller (Moneyball) that sees Carell playing murderous millionaire John du Pont and Mark Ruffalo his friend and victim David Schutz. And it’s got enough faith in the movie to throw it into next fall’s crop of prestige pictures. More details after the jump.

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At the end of September, we got word that Capote and Moneyball director Bennett Miller had been able to revive Foxcatcher, the film he’d been trying to make a few years ago which provided his introduction to Brad Pitt, and therefore eventually led to Moneyball. The film is a strange true-crime tale about John du Pont, the schizophrenic heir to the du Pont fortune. He ran a wrestling training center called Team Foxcatcher, and there shot and killed Olympic wrestler David Schultz in 1996.

Steve Carell is set up to play du Pont, and now Channing Tatum is in talks to play Schultz. Read More »

Steve Carell has been attached to a good many film projects, but now that he has lined up with the MRC production Foxcatcher, I expect it will end up being one of his next films. Why? Because he’d be playing John du Pont, the schizophrenic heir to the du Pont fortune, and the man who pulled the trigger on Olympic wrestler David Schultz. Quite a role, in other words.

More important, he’ll be playing the role under the direction of Bennett Miller, whose 2005 film Capote earned Philip Seymour Hoffman an Oscar for Best Actor, and whose current film, Moneyball, is already sparking Oscar talk for Brad Pitt. What actor wouldn’t quickly say yes to Miller’s next film? Read More »

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