EXCLUSIVE: Jake Gyllenhaal is in early talks to star for Dallas Buyers Club helmer Jean-Marc Vallée, in Demolition, from the Black List screenplay by Bryan Sipe. Black Label is financing and producing with Mr. Mudd, whose Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, and Russell Smith will produce with Black Label’s Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill. Jason Reitman and Helen Estabrook are exec producers with Vallée’s producing partner and manager Nathan Ross. Mr. Mudd produced Reitman’s Labor Day and Juno.
Talks with Gyllenhaal are in the early stage but look promising. The story centers on a young investment banker struggling to understand his emotional disconnect after the tragic death of his wife. He begins to tear apart his life in a distraught effort to see where he went wrong but ultimately is rescued by a woman he meets in a chance encounter. It is another solid indie for Mr. Mudd, which recently produced The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.
Back when I first revealed that Vallee would direct it, the helmer told me: “Demolition is such a powerful and touching story, written with a strong and sincere desire to try to understand the human psyche, what makes us so unique, so special, what makes us love. This is a script of a rare quality, of a beautiful humanity.” Gyllenhaal, who next stars in TWC’s Southpaw, is repped by WME. He just teamed with Jennifer Fox and Tony Gilroy to produce the Dan Gilroy-directed Nightcrawler, which Gyllenhaal starred in and which was the subject of a splash Cannes distribution deal with Open Road, which will release it October 17. Gyllenhaal also stars in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed Everest, which Universal opens next year.