Eight years after "School of Rock," Jack Black still awaits a worthy follow-up. Now director Michael Winterbottom is here to help.
Winterbottom will direct Black in "Bailout," an adaptation of Jess Walter's 2009 novel, "The Financial Lives of Poets," reported Deadline. Walter will be adaptating the screenplay himself.
"Poets" tells the story of a finance journalist who gives up his job to start a website written in blank verse about the same topic. When it inevitably goes belly up, he finds himself on the brink of losing everything--his home, his wife...
Black's whole shtick is predicated on desperation of one form or another, so this sounds like a good enough fit. Black's had a rough go of it since "School of Rock," with "Tropic Thunder," in which he was third- or fourth-banana, being an unqualified success.
Winterbottom is odd choice, but we can get behind it. The guy often makes some of the darkest heaviest films out there--"Butterfly Kisses" and "The Killer Inside Me"--but he's shown a nice comedic touch working with Steve Coogan in this year's "The Trip" and 2002's "24 Hour Party People."
Shooting starts in August, but they're gonna have to come up with a better title.
Here's the official synopsis for "The Financial Lives of Poets" from the publisher's website:
A few years ago, small-time finance journalist Matthew Prior quit his day job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse. When his big idea—and his wife's eBay resale business— ends with a whimper (and a garage full of unwanted figurines), they borrow and borrow, whistling past the graveyard of their uncertain dreams. One morning Matt wakes up to find himself jobless, hobbled with debt, spying on his wife's online flirtation, and six days away from losing his home. Is this really how things were supposed to end up for me, he wonders: staying up all night worried, driving to 7-Eleven in the middle of the night to get milk for his boys, and falling in with two local degenerates after they offer him a hit of high-grade marijuana?
Or, he thinks, could this be the solution to all my problems?
Following Matt in his week-long quest to save his marriage, his sanity, and his dreams, The Financial Lives of the Poets is a hysterical, heartfelt novel about how we can reach the edge of ruin—and how we can begin to make our way back.