UPDATE: MTV have cited Sandra Bullock’s publicist in saying “there is absolutely no truth to this news”, which is rather disappointing.
Two years after it seemed to be dragged down to a very deep circle of development hell, Dayton and Faris’ adaptation of The Abstinence Teacher looks to be on again. And according to the information supplied by Baseline Studio Systems (see The NY Times, or Production Weekly via The Playlist), Steve Carrell and Sandra Bullock are attached to star. That’s a Bingo.
The film is to be an adaptation of the Tom Perotta novel about a sex education teacher and a soccer coach who clash over ideals of abstinence. From Perotta’s site:
Ruth Ramsey is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school. She believes that “pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power.” Ruth’s younger daughter’s soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved. Tim belongs to The Tabernacle, an evangelical Christian church that doesn’t approve of Ruth’s style of teaching. And Ruth in turn doesn’t applaud The Tabernacle’s mission to take its message outside its doors.
Adversaries in a small-town culture war, Ruth and Tim instinctively mistrust each other. But when a controversy on the soccer field pushes the two of them to actually talk to each other, they are forced to take each other at something other than face value.
Before today, I believed that Dayton and Faris were being cued up to direct Will next. That one’s an existential comedy, scripted by stand-up comedian Demetri Martin. It tells a Capra-meets-Kaufman story about the first ever human to get genuine free will after the angelic figure charged with scripting his life slips up. Paul Rudd is attached as Will, the human, and Zach Galifianakis as his heavenly scriptwriter.
Having read the wobbly screenplay for Will, I’m somewhat more drawn to The Abstinence Teacher. Either way, though, I’d just be grateful for another film from Dayton and Faris. It’s been too, too long and they’re too, too good to not be making movies.
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