Channing Tatum has been talking about making the jump to the director’s chair for a couple of years now, and while there was once talk that he and his producing partner Reid Carolin might direct Magic Mike XXL, that gig eventually went to Steven Soderbergh’s longtime producer and right hand man, Greg Jacobs. But now it appears Tatum and Carolin have found the project on which they’ll make their directorial debut, and it may surprise you.
THR says that the duo will co-direct and produce an adaptation of author Matthew Quick’s young adult novel “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock” for The Weinstein Company. Quick also wrote the novel “Silver Linings Playbook,” which went on to become an Oscar-nominated film from David O. Russell a couple of years ago. Here’s the plot synopsis for “Leonard Peacock”:
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol. Maybe one day he’ll believe that being different is okay, important even. But not today.
That’s some pretty serious source material – not exactly the light, bouncy fun that Tatum has become known for during his career rise over the past few years. But to be fair, alongside the Jump Street movies and some of his other recent comedies, he is starring in Foxcatcher right now, which is fairly dark, and his early career is full of smaller, darker movies (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Stop-Loss, etc). Should be interesting to see how he handles the dark subject matter here.
Word is that he’s also looking to star in the movie as a teacher who intervenes in the shooting, which would make him even busier than a traditional director once he steps onto his set. But that’s the advantage with working with a co-director; Carolin will undoubtedly pick up the slack.
Tatum is on a roll lately, scoring roles for The Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino, so we’ll see if he can absorb any of their good habits while he’s on those sets. No word yet on when Leonard Peacock will officially begin production, but it’s set up at a studio, which is more than can be said for the crime thriller The Son, which Tatum and Carolin are also eyeing to direct. We’ll keep you posted on these as more info becomes available.
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