Ben Kingsley, Mark Duplass, And Maybe Jennifer Aniston To Do Sci-Fi Comedy Convention
One of this bigger hits at this year's Sundance Film Festival was Safety Not Guaranteed, which starred indie actor and director Mark Duplass as a man who believed he had created a time machine, and Parks & Recreation's Aubrey Plaza as a woman who answers his ad for a time-travel assistant. The movie's blend of sci-fi tropes and realistic romantic relationships was a hit at the festival, and Duplass apparently thinks it's a genre worth sticking with. According to Variety Duplass is set to star in the sci-fi comedy Convention, with some hefty big names also looking to join him as well.
In the film set at a national box convention, where Duplass's character has created a five-sided box that also rips a hole in the space-time continuum, Ben Kingsley will play a "legend in the business" who purchases that box and almost has a hand in destroying the universe. Jennifer Aniston is also considering a role in the film, playing the sister of Duplass's character who helps him try to save the world. Justin Reardon will make his directorial debut on the project, working from a script by Christopher Painter. The only thing that seems to be keeping Aniston from committing is an unclear start date, but if the production decides she's vital and works around her, it seems likely she'll get on board.
While the project seems perfectly in Duplass's wheelhouse after Safety Not Guaranteed, and Ben Kingsley has been taking on such a wide variety of roles lately that it's hard to be surprised by much of anything he does, Aniston's involvement is really interesting. She experienced a big flop earlier this year with the low-key comedy Wanderlust, but had enough success in bigger studio comedies like Horrible Bosses and Just Go With It. She hasn't made a straight-up indie film since Management with Steve Zahn in 2009, but going back to The Good Girl in 2002, she's had an interest in taking roles that expanded her boundaries a bit. Teaming up with a respected indie presence like Duplass might bring her some new audiences, and in a world where rom-com actresses don't get the $20 million upfront they used to, expanding her audience might be exactly the right move.
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