Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Sundance
New Line Cinema is moving forward with the comedy WORK WIFE, albeit without director Joe Swanberg. Swanberg had been slated to make his studio directorial debut on the project since February of this year, though sources now indicate that the Digging For Fire helmer has fallen off the project.
Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins wrote the original screenplay, with rewrites performed by Rob McKittrick. Work Wife follows Sara and Ben, two thirty-something lawyers whose close friendship becomes strained after they hook up after hours in the office. Now the two must navigate their newfound feelings as they attempt to keep their relationship a secret for fear of getting canned.
Nicholas Stoller, who recently directed Neighbors and was quintessential in the revival of the Muppets, has come aboard to produce, while New Line execs Sam Brown, Dave Neustadter and Richard Brener oversee.
Initially, its easy to see why Swanberg was tapped for the project. His 2013 dramedy Drinking Buddies explored a similar concept, with two co-workers investigating their feelings for eachother. Drinking Buddies starred frequent Swanberg collaborators Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick, along with Olivia Wilde and Ron Livingston.
Swanberg has established himself as a pioneer in the indie space, and one of the founding members of the mumblecore movement. He’s directed seventeen indie flicks since bursting onto the scene in 2005 with Kissing on the Mouth. Aside from his prolific career as a director, Swanberg has extensively worked as a producer, writer, and actor, notably appearing in the sleeper slasher hit You’re Next.
Most recently, Swanberg directed Anna Kendrick and Jake Johnson again in the drama Digging For Fire, which has been hailed as his most commercial film to date. The pic, which co-written by Johnson, also boasted an impressive cast consisting of Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, and Sam Rockwell.
Swanberg is repped by CAA.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor