The image Playwright-turned-filmmaker Neil LaBute won me over big time with the smart dialogue and unapologetic characters he wrote for In the Company of Men and Your Friends & Neighbors. He then made a very enjoyable film from a script he didn't write, which in many other hands would have been forgettable. But after that film, Nurse Betty, he hasn't done much to keep me interested. I was especially disappointed with The Shape of Things, a flat, predictable film based on his own play, and finally couldn't even bother to check out his remake of The Wicker Man, which came out last year. He will likely keep me away once more with his next project, if it does turn out to be Lakeview Terrace, a thriller starring Samuel L. Jacksonwe told you about in January.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, LaBute is in negotiations to direct the film, which was written by Money Trainscreenwriter David Loughery. And if he gets the gig, he may get to work with Ashton Kutcher, who is possibly being cast as the husband of Kerry Washington -- because we couldn't get enough of his interracial-coupling in Guess Who. Kutcher and Washington would play a husband and wife being terrorized by Jackson's character, a racist LAPD officer who lives next door. If the script could be rewritten by LaBute -- the LaBute of ten years ago -- and feature a lot of scenes with Jackson beating on Kutcher -- really hard -- then Lakeview Terrace could have a chance, but the script is instead being retooled by playwright Howard Korder, and Screen Gems will probably want to keep Kutcher from being too bloodied up.
categories Cinematical