The movie version of Tracy Letts’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “August: Osage County,” starring Academy Award-winning actresses Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, has just added some more celebrity wattage with the announcement by the Weinstein Company that George Clooney has come on board as a producer.
The bleak but hilarious play is about Violet Weston (Streep), the tyrannical matriarch of an Oklahoma clan, and her three adult daughters in the aftermath of their father’s probable suicide. Ms. Roberts will play Barbara, the oldest and strongest daughter, a control freak who transforms into the boozing mirror image of her razor sharp-tongued mother. There’s addiction, adultery, alcoholism and verbal bloodletting over the course of the three-hour play, which will be adapted for the screen by the playwright.
Our favorite line from the play, which we can’t wait for Ms. Streep to say, and which still haunts us from the time we first saw “August: Osage County”: “Thank God we can’t tell the future or we’d never get out of bed.”
The movie, which will begin shooting in the fall, will be directed by John Wells, who is mainly known for his television work, including “Shameless” and “Mildred Pierce.”
Mr. Clooney will be joined with his producing partner, Grant Heslov, with whom he worked on the films, “Good Night and Good Luck” and the recent political drama “The Ides of March.” Other producers, who were previously announced, are Jean Doumanian and Steve Traxler.
No other actors have been announced in the cast although we think Mr. Clooney would be terrific playing against type as one of the milquetoast husbands of the two daughters.
This seems to be Mr. Letts’s moment on film. A movie version of “Killer Joe,” one of Mr. Letts’s early plays, will open July 27. The blood-soaked dramatic piece is about a 22-year-old, played by Emile Hirsch, who’s in debt to a drug lord and hires a hit man, Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), to assassinate his mother for her insurance policy. The film also stars Gina Gershon, Juno Temple and Thomas Haden Church. It is directed by William Friedkin, best known for the classics “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist.”