Now there's a duo I didn't expect to see on screen together. Variety reports that Jessica Biel and Forest Whitaker have joined the cast of Powder Blue; an ensemble drama that's looking to begin production this July in Los Angeles. Pic is to be helmed by Timothy Linh Bui, brother and co-collaborator of Three Seasons director Tony Bui. Linh Bui's last feature (as a director) was the 2001 flick Green Dragon; a pic that also starred Whitaker, as well as Patrick Swayze. Powder Blue was set up by Eleven Eleven Films in association with Spirit Dance Entertainment and Grosvenor Park Media; it will be produced by Whitaker, Bobby Schwartz, Ross M. Dinerstein, Tracee Stanley-Newell and Timothy Linh Bui.
Like the Oscar-winning film Crash, Powder Blue will follow the lives of four very different characters who, for one reason or another, wind up together on Christmas Eve. Those characters are a mortician, an ex-con, a suicidal ex-priest and a stripper. No word yet on which roles Whitaker and Biel will take on, but if I were a betting man, I'd have to say Biel would look mighty fine playing a stripper. And I know I'm not alone in that belief. As for Whitaker, I say he plays either the mortician or the suicidal ex-priest -- heck, he'd do just fine in any of the roles except, well, I can't see him pulling off a thong. But that's me. Script was penned by Linh Bui, based off a story written by Stephanie Gauger (Owl and the Sparrow). With this role, it seems Biel has finally gotten her wish. The actress was complaining recently that she hasn't been given the opportunity to audition for gritty roles; that those parts have been going to ladies like Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. Aww. Well, when you bring in the type of box office that those girls do (what did Next make, $14 million?), then I'm sure more stuff will begin to open up.