Kate Winslet Is Not in ‘Frank or Francis,’ But Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Banks Are

A few days ago I reported on a story that two former female leads from Charlie Kaufman movies would both be working with the writer again, this time on his next directorial effort Frank or Francis. It turns out that was only half right. While Catherine Keener does appear to be attached to the film, buried in a report about Paul Reubens joining the cast is confirmation from THR that Kate Winslet has not. That’s a pretty big blow to my enthusiasm for the added girl power that this movie would have gotten by casting both Keener and Winslet, and the inclusion of Pee-Wee does little to soften the blow.

Fortunately for me, there’s some more news that does soften the blow a bit. In another report, THR says that Elizabeth Banks has joined the cast, and in a role that sounds like it has some potential for hilarity. As we know already, Steve Carell and Jack Black are playing the title characters, a director and a film blogger who come into conflict with one another over a series of bad reviews. Well, it appears that Banks will be playing the Carell character’s girlfriend, an actress who keeps making “formulaic comedy bombs.” Seeing as the focus of this movie is the world of filmmaking vs. the world of film criticism, I’m imagining that Banks’ character will provide some delicious jabs sent the way of actresses like Kate Hudson and Katherine Heigl, the undisputed queens of the formulaic comedy bomb.

Not only does that sound funny to me, it’s the first indication I’ve read that says this film will not only be poking fun at the wasted lives of people who bitch about movies on the Internet all day, but that it will also look at things from the other side of the fence and make fun of the people who waste their lives making really bad movies all day. That’s good, spread the abuse around. I don’t think my already fragile self-esteem could take the full force of Kaufman’s satiric wit without shattering at the blow. Now I also get to laugh along as we tear down rich blonde actresses!

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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