Michael Winterbottom Will ‘Bailout’ Jack Black

By  · Published on May 12th, 2011

It’s my personal suggestion that you read and re-read that headline because even though I wrote it, I’m still re-reading it, rubbing my eyes like a kid who just found a $20 bill on the sidewalk (aka infinite money), and trying to figure out if it’s real.

Michael Winterbottom, the man who directed 24 Hour Party People, the man who directed 9 Songs, the man who apparently loves movies with numbers in the title – is going to be teaming with Jack Black for a comedy. That’s insane. And wonderful. According to Variety, Winterbottom will be directing Bailout, an adaptation of Jess Walter’s “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” which tells the story of a man who finds himself without a job, but with a wife that’s cheating on him and a father who is fast approaching senility. His luck turns when he comes face to face with an interesting (and illegal) business opportunity, and hilarity ensues.

There seems to be a trend of down-on-their-luck figures being celebrated (the latest being Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go), but there’s been mixed success. Maybe people aren’t too keen on watching recession-hit characters during the recession. Maybe they should bring back Charlie Chaplin. However, this project sounds far too weird not to be great. Winterbottom is a diverse talent that can do dark drama and sharp comedy with equal skill, and it’s refreshing to see Black take on something that’s on the other side of the world from Gulliver’s Travels. I haven’t read the book yet, so I’m curious to hear from those that have, but with a title that’s a pun on an E.L. Doctorow story and the described subject matter, I’m assuming this is going to be a comedy of the darker variety.

Plus, if Winterbottom is directing, comic genius Steve Coogan will probably be cast, right?

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