While we don’t typically celebrate when two talented actors leave a film, when it comes to Adam Rapp’s Red Light Winter, the loss of Mark Ruffalo and Billy Crudup is actually a good thing. Variety reports that, while Crudup’s role still remains uncast, Ben Foster is now attached to star in the role that was previously Ruffalo’s, and his involvement with the film has given it a push to filming sooner rather than later.
Ruffalo’s involvement with the film (which playwright and filmmaker Rapp will both write and direct) was first rumored way back in the spring of 2011, but it was always something that was on the horizon for him, not of immediate import. With Foster now set for one of three lead roles, the production is reportedly looking to start filming in December or January.
Rapp’s play of the same name centers on a pair of college buddies (Matt and Davis) who hit their thirties and attempt to reconnect with each other by traveling together from New York City to Amsterdam to whoop it up in ways perhaps better suited for younger men. Along the way, the two get caught up in an unexpected love triangle with a “window prostitute” (set to be played by Kirsten Dunst), which unearths some of the fissures in their damaged relationship). It’s bleak, dark, soul-searching stuff.
Variety only refers to Foster’s role as “an anxious new writer,” so we can only assume that he will play Matt (who is a struggling playwright in the source material), leaving Davis (a rising star book editor who found his big bestseller nearly by accident) yet to be cast. Davis is the more charismatic of the pair and, in the play, he is the one who first hires Christina, so someone like Crudup would have been a sparkling pick, but with Foster now set, it shouldn’t be too long before the role is filled.
The play first premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2005, before making its way to New York’s Barrow Street Theater in early 2006 (with its original cast in tow). Fun fact! The role that Foster will play was originated by Christopher Denham, the male lead from Sound of My Voice. The play was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, though ultimately no award was given out that year.
You can check out a clip from Red Light Winter, featuring its original cast, below.
If you want to read more about the play, check out its first twenty-five pages at Google Books or this fantastically in-depth review of the play’s New York run in the New York Times.