Russell Crowe is still a big name, although he hasn’t helmed a box-office hit in a starring role since 2010’s Robin Hood. That being said, he’s still in moviegoers’ minds due to his stoic turn as Jor-El in Man of Steel and his tone-deaf rendition as Inspector Javert in Les Misérables. Now, the Oscar-winning actor is hoping to give Academy voters something to talk about, signing on to Fathers and Daughters, the latest film from Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness).
With the role, the actor is set to, once again, get Academy voters’ waterworks gushing. In Fathers and Daughters, he will portray a widowed novelist trying to raise his five-year-old daughter as he battles mental illness. The film, coming from Brad Desch’s Blacklisted script, will move between the daughter’s youth and 25 years later, when she looks back at her tumultuous childhood. The New York-set drama sounds like a bonafide weepie, and with The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds director Gabriele Muccino behind the camera, it could fill in a Christmas-time release berth like those two films did.
“This is a performance-driven movie, and therefore I couldn’t ask for a better actor than Russell to deliver this intensely emotional drama,” Muccino told Variety. “It’s edgy, heart-wrenching, and uplifting at the same time. To me, it feels like a classic American movie that recalls the great character dramas of the ’70s.”
Fathers and Daughters is not the Gladiator actor’s only big 2014 project. Darren Aronofsky’s interpretation of Noah comes out in March of that year and the actor will also appear in Akiva Goldsman’s feature debut, Winter’s Tale, set for a Valentine’s Day release. Furthermore, Crowe is also prepping for his own big-screen directing debut, The Water Diviner, so it could be a while until Fathers and Daughters gets into production. After misfires like Broken City and The Man with the Iron Fists, though, it is nice to see Crowe working on some promising projects. Hopefully this one turns out to be a hit.