George Clooney may have earned a Best Actor nomination for his work in last year’s The Descendants, but the truly eye-opening performance in that film came not from the king of Hollywood, but from the little known actress playing his teenage daughter. Simply put, Shailene Woodley was the bee’s knees in that film. Her work fleshed out a role that would have played like a cliché of teenage rebellion in most other hands, and she’s going to have quite a few opportunities coming her way in the upcoming year.

It’s newsworthy, then, that Variety has word on what her next job is going to be. According to the trade, the actress is attached to star in Smashed (which was reviewed by Allison Loring here) director James Ponsoldt’s next film, which is an adaptation of the Tim Tharp novel “The Spectacular Now.”

Amazon describes the book as such:

“Sutter Keely. He’s the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.”

First impressions: hopefully this description was just written by an overzealous intern and words like “fabuloso” and “splendiferous” aren’t being taken right out of the text or this movie is probably going to be real annoying. Woodley has got a lot of high hopes weighing her shoulders down right now, and I can’t imagine that being in a movie that sounds like a Tucker Max story told in the voice of Juno is what anybody had in mind for her coming out of The Descendants. 

Some comfort can be taken, however, in the fact that the book is being adapted for the screen by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, who have already written a movie lots of people love with (500) Days of Summer. Their pedigree combined with the buzz surrounding Ponsoldt’s Smashed has to be enough to be cautious but optimistic about this one, doesn’t it?


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