John Krasinski

Focus Features

Frankly, we’re a bit miffed that John Krasinski‘s next directorial effort, The Hollars, is not about an Appalachian family with issues they need to work out or a fake type of currency, but that might just be our own prejudices and personal interests shining through. Instead, the James C. Sprouse-penned screenplay centers on the fictional Hollar family. ZZzzz. Let’s maybe change that.

The Hollars will see Krasinski approaching, oddly enough, both Steel Magnolias and Garden State territory. No, really, as Screen Daily reports that producer Tom Rice describes the film as “blending the emotion of Steel Magnolias with the youth-oriented relevance of Garden State,” which is either absolute brilliance or the end of Krasinski’s short-lived directorial career (we’re leaning to the former on this one, though). See? Steel Magnolias and Garden State. It’s right there.

Krasinski will also star in the film as John Hollar, a New York artist (we bet he’s hip) who has to return to his Middle American hometown when his mother requires brain surgery. But that’s not all! Hollar will be toting along his lady friend and be forced to face down “his helpless brother, anxiety-prone father and over-eager high school girlfriend” and probably also a bunch of weird, unsettling memories and maybe even a sequence involving juice and/or bad wallpaper.

Although The Hollars certainly sounds like a fun Garden State companion, it does at least boast a solid cast, including Anna Kendrick (who is apparently again locked into a “girlfriend” role, which makes us all the more happy that Pitch Perfect 2 is happening), Margo Martindale as Mama Hollar and Richard Jenkins as Papa Hollar. As of now, there’s no word on who will play that weirdo brother or the unhinged ex, but the strength of this already-in-place cast means that the rest of the casting will be just as impressive.

Krasinski, at least, seems impressed with both the material and his cast, and he told Screen Daily, “Jim has written one of the most tough-minded, sweet, funny and accurate stories about family I’ve seen. I am lucky to have a script like this to direct… and to have this cast is simply surreal.”

Krasinski has steadily moved his talents behind the camera over the years — The Hollars will be his second directorial outing, after 2009’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, which he also adapted from the David Foster Wallace book of the same name, and he also co-wrote Promised Land alongside fellow co-star Matt Damon — so this kind of material sounds like a good fit and a nifty way to move him into more mainstream territory.

It should still be relocated to an actual holle(a)r, however.

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