By Sarah Sluis
During The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Watch actress round table, Amy Adams revealed that she had to turn down a role in Welcome to the People, because she felt she couldn't go there emotionally and be there for her new child. Turns out Hilary Swank had wanted the role, but didn't get it. So who's the role going to now? Elizabeth Banks, who will take on the part when the DreamWorks production starts filming in early 2011.
Though Welcome to the People hasn't been hyped in the press, it clearly seems to be a coveted project among those that have read the script. Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, the dynamo producing team behind Star Trek (I'll ignore their work on the Transformers series), wrote the script along with newbie Jody Lambert, and Kurtzman is making his directing debut with the film.
Chris Pine stars as a man who returns home after his estranged father dies. He discovers he has an alcoholic sister (Banks) with an out-of-control 12-year-old son. According to his father's will, he must deliver her $150,000. He wants to keep the money for himself, but curiosity gets the best of him and he finds his sister and befriends her without letting her know he's her brother. The idea of sibling reconciliation after a parent's death is a familiar plot point (If it were a comedy, it would be another Rain Man--right?), but the quality of the writing and acting can make or break this kind of film. Though it's billed as a drama, certain leaked details--like the fact that the 12-year-old tries to blow up, of all things, his school's swimming pool--sound almost like dark comedy. I hear awards bells ringing for this one. Perhaps it will end up with a "For Your Consideration" in 2012?