For a business that is notoriously slow to develop groundbreaking creative projects, the film industry can be remarkably quick when it comes to cashing in on proven success. Thus, when the romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You-- timed for release to capitalize on Valentine's Day earlier this year -- grossed an estimated $94 million for New Line Cinema / Warner Brothers, the company decided to prepare something similar for Valentine's Day next year, reports the New York Times.
Since He's Just Not That Into Youfeatured an ensemble cast of notable actresses (Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Aniston), the new project, imaginatively titled Valentine's Day, hopes to pack Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and Shirley MacLaine into a storyline about "would-be romantics working their way through a tangle of circumstances in Los Angeles." None of the women have signed on yet, nor has the company's director of choice, Garry Marshall, nor has Ashton Kutcher, whose name has also been floated, but potential Green Lantern Bradley Cooper has agreed to play a man in the movie.
Lionsgate has sown up Halloween with the Saw franchise, so, strictly from a business perspective, this makes good sense. Of course, just packing "names" into a movie for the sake of names won't necessarily work. Still, if Valentine's Day is successful with big stars and establishes a new franchise for New Line, they could populate sequels with less-expensive stars and turn a decent profit for years to come.