About a month ago, Nala Films picked up a spec script by first-timer Eric Gravning called Mr. Burnout. Gravning's story focuses on "a small town English teacher who spirals from teacher of the year to a bitter, rude individual after a decade in the classroom." Because this is Hollywood, all it takes to reawaken his passion for teaching is a hot new colleague, a bet and three troubled students who need his help getting into a good college. Reassuringly, however, the story is described as a comedy, so it probably won't turn out to be Mr. Holland's Opus 2, or something. Plus, Variety reported this morning that Nala has hiredPaul Dinello -- a man with a finely-honed satire muscle -- to direct the thing, which is another good sign.

Though Mr. Burnout will be Dinello's first directorial effort since Strangers with Candy, he hasn't been just hanging around on the Colbert Report set in his free time. Instead, he's working on a couple of new screenplays, including one about "two hip exorcists" which, personally, I'd much rather seen than a movie about a teacher seeking funny redemption. Sadly, Nala has scheduled Mr. Burnout to start in early 2007, so Dinello will have to put the exorcists aside for the time being.
categories Movies, Cinematical