Vince Vaughn in Delivery Man

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

It’s time you asked yourself a tough question: when was the last time you had a genuine interest in seeing a Vince Vaughn movie? I’ll go ahead and start things off myself. Wedding Crashers. And Wedding Crashers was released 10 years ago.

At first glance, Vaughn’s newly announced film The Politician looks to continue the trend of Vince Vaughn films the general public has no vested interest in. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he will star as a holder of elected office who’s caught in the act with a couple prostitutes. Rather than stand up and face his own failings, this politician gives a collective “ehhhh, the hell with this” to the nation and goes on the lam. At which point the FBI, the US Marshals and a drug gang all tear after him.

But when the news broke, something curious bubbled up around it, just barely noticeable from our current position of general Vince Vaughn apathy: Talk of a Vince Vaughn comeback. It’s not much; only a few outlets are speaking of The Politician in the whispered tones and shifty eyes of “comeback” conversation. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

Maybe Vaughn truly is taking back his career á la Matthew McConaughey.” (Evan Dickson, Collider)

Hopefully that pans out and that starts something of a career comeback for Vaughn.” (Cricket Lee, GeekNation)

This film sounds like it could signal a turnaround in Vaughn’s fading star power.” (Damen Norton, UnrealityTV)

We could see a return to form for the actor.” (Graham McMorrow, JoBlo)

Four chunks of comeback speculation, all tempered with a “maybe” or a “hopefully” or some other qualifier that implies The Politician could still end up another Delivery Man, and we’ll all be forced to slink away and hide our shame. It’s not much. But it is the start of a dialogue. And it’s a dialogue with potential — unlike, say, Kevin Costner, who started this year out as the Comeback Kid and looks to ride it out as the “Nope, Still Not Particularly Relevant in 2014″ Kid.

Here are some other potential seeds of the Re-Vince-ening (hey, someone’s got to come up with a suitably catchy comeback title, a la “the McConaissance”):

  • Vaughn is also starring in the upcoming Term Life, which has been described as both an action comedy and a crime thriller.

While these might not seem that momentous (okay, True Detective totally does), there’s something important to remember. The key to clawing your way out of a filmic rut is to climb a different path than the one that led you astray. One must reinvent one’s public image, like how Liam Neeson went from a respected dramatic actor to a guy who exclusively makes movies where he quietly monologues death threats into a cell phone. Stuff like True Detective is the exact opposite of what Vaughn’s known for. A return to stuff like Psycho may be his best bet at reinvention.

There’s one catch that must be addressed: The Politician‘s “on the run from the feds” premise sounds like an action comedy, but with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg producing, it may lean more towards plain comedy. And in that case, it might just be another Delivery Man in the making (Heaven forbid). Hopefully, this one errs far more on the side of running someone over with a car while firing off 9mm shells with both hands.

The Re-Vince-ening might not be official, but the spark is there. Now, all Vaughn to do is land True Detective and make sure Term Life and The Politician are solid flicks. Maybe then, in a few years the concept of a Vince Vaughn comedy will seem as alien as Liam Neeson operating a cell phone without saying the words “find you,” “kill you” or “unholy vengeance down upon thee.”


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