EXCLUSIVE: Colin Farrell has stayed away from studio films in the last few years, but now has found two he can sink his teeth into. I’m told Farrell has just committed to next play a charismatic neighbor/vampire in Fright Night, the Craig Gillespie-directed DreamWorks remake of the 1985 thriller that will also star Anton Yelchin and Toni Collette.
He will follow that by playing one of the title characters in the Seth Gordon-directed New Line comedy Horrible Bosses. He chose those films as he was also being courted for the Katherine Heigl drama One for the Money, and the Reese Witherspoon comedy This Means War at Fox.
In Fright Night, he’ll play the role originated by Chris Sarandon, the charming bloodsucker who tries to cover his tracks when his young horror-film-fanatic neighbor become sure he’s a vampire come to drain the populace.
I can remember when the strong buzz off the Joel Schumacher-directed Tigerland convinced studios that the Irish actor was going to be the next Tom Cruise. The majors threw all kinds of projects at Farrell, with multi-million dollar offers. It wasn’t going at all well at the box office for Farrell by the time he did his last big studio film, Miami Vice with Universal. Let’s face it, he has had trouble opening movies for the majors. Since then, he embraced sobriety, turned his life around and has done the best work in his career on a mostly indie track. The exception was the Gavin O’Connor-directed Pride and Glory for New Line, and he has followed that with gems like Crazy Heart and In Bruges, the latter of which won him a Golden Globe. Farrell stays in indie mode on the Neil Jordan-directed fable Ondine, which opens June 4, and he stars with Keira Knightley in London Boulevard, the adaptation of the Ken Bruen novel that marks the directing debut of The Departed screenwriter William Monahan. Farrell most recently completed starring in the Peter Weir-directed period drama The Way Back, which will soon be shopped to domestic distributors and will likely premiere at one of the fall film festivals.
Now, he’s ready to jump back in with the studios.