Deadline is reporting today that Boyhood helmer Richard Linklater, nominated for the Best Director Oscar last year, is Sony Pictures’ top pick to direct Jennifer Lawrence in The Rosie Project.
Discussions are just getting under way, but Linklater’s schedule is currently open and the studio has been looking to attract a big name for the gig ever since The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the project for a Star Wars spinoff focusing on a young Han Solo.
The adaptation of Graeme Simison’s novel centers on a genetics professor who’s more adept at navigating complex scientific data collections than his social life. When he comes up with a scientific survey designed to find him his perfect mate, the professor believes he’s sidestepped the risks that come with dating. His world gets shaken up, however, when he falls hard for a woman named Rosie (Lawrence), despite her not fitting with his scientific analysis.
Matt Tolmach and Michael Costigan are producing this project, an unusually high-profile project for a story this low-key and seemingly familiar. But Linklater coming aboard to direct makes a lot of sense for the type of film The Rosie Project seems to want to be – with his Before Sunrise trilogy, the helmer is nearly unparalleled in his ability to chart human relations with sometimes painful honesty.
The script was adapted by (500) Days of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, who have found a great deal of success working on John Green adaptations like The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and the upcoming Looking for Alaska, but if Linklater came aboard here, chances are that he would retool it in order to match his distinctive vision for the project.
The Rosie Project is on the fast-track for Sony, which has secured Lawrence to star opposite Chris Pratt in Passengers and wants the actress to stay in-studio for as long as possible.