While Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter Michael Arndt got to follow-up his Oscar win by scripting Toy Story 3, the 2006 indie blockbuster's co-directors, Valerie Farisand Jonathan Dayton, have had less luck seeing another gig to fruition. Earlier this year, though, we heard the music video vets would be helming the Demetri Martin-scripted comedy Will for producers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell and stars Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis. But now it seems the duo is also back on track with an older project, an adaptation of Tom Perrotta's The Abstinence Teacher.

Back when Faris and Dayton were first linked to the movie, meant to be their LMS follow-up, the book hadn't even been published yet. According to the latest issue of Production Weekly (via The Playlist), Perrotta, who also wrote the basis for Election and both the novel and screenplay for Little Children, is still credited as adapter of his own work, and LMS producers Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa and Polly Jansen are also still on board. New info they share is the film's casting of Sandra Bullock and Steve Carell in the lead roles of, respectively, a scorned sex-ed teacher in a small religious town and the born-again soccer coach she falls for.
Carell makes sense, and maybe we can expect him to act more serious than usual given that his part in LMS was more dramatic than much of his work before or since. Does he seem right for the romantic lead opposite Bullock, though? It's hard to believe Carell having chemistry with many people, and we'll often have the same doubting reaction we had upon hearing he'd be paired up with Tina Fey. The Abstinence Teacher sounds a bit like 40-Year-Old Virgin territory -- with some Saved! mixed in -- as it will likely have Bullock seducing a relatively prudish Carell, whose character was a "stoner and rocker" before being saved by the town's evangelical Tabernacle church.

As far as we know, The Abstinence Teacher is no longer set up at any studio, though it was at one point in the stable of now-defunct Warner Independent Pictures. If Warner is no longer attached, it would make sense for Fox Searchlight to work with the LMS team again.
categories Cinematical