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Back in 2011, director Jonathan Levine and stars Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt teamed up to make what was ultimately one of the best films of that year: the cancer dramedy 50/50. Naturally, we were very excited when it was announced back in February that the director and his stars were going to be re-teaming on an untitled Christmas comedy, but now even more good news has arrived: they're close to signing on one of the most underrated actors currently working in Hollywood. Anthony Mackie, who we just saw superhero-suiting up just last month in Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier, is now in negotiations to co-star in the holiday pic.
This casting news comes to us from The Wrap, which also adds that Jonathan Levine wrote the screenplay himself. The site's vague plot description says that the movie will follow three childhood best friends who "reunite in New York City for their annual tradition of going on on Christmas Eve." The site doesn't specify any of the actors' roles, but don't be surprised if all of them are playing the three leads.
Mackie got rave reviews for his role as Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but the truth is that he's been putting in great work for years - even in movies that don't turn out so awesome as a whole. He made his big screen debut back in 2002 co-starring in Curtis Hanson's 8 Mile, but since then he has put on fantastic performances in films like Ryan Fleck's Half Nelson, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, Tanya Hamilton's Night Catches Us, and even Michael Bay's Pain & Gain. The guy has proven to have amazing charisma and real presence, and has become a sought-after talent as a result.
In addition to being rumored for Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron - reprising his role as Falcon, Mackie has some interesting projects on the horizon. Later this year we hope to see the release of the Justin Reardon-directed comedy A Many Splintered Thing (which also co-stars Chris Evans), and he is also completed work on Paul Bettany's directorial debut Shelter. He is also now attached to be a part of the massive ensemble in John Hillcoat's Triple Nine, which isn't expected to come out until next year.
Levine's Christmas comedy is aiming to start production this summer, with Sony backing the project. As was revealed last month, the film is scheduled to head into theaters on December 11, 2015. If you're not yet familiar with Jonathan Levine's work, I would highly recommend taking the time between now and his next movie's release to catch up on titles like 50/50, The Wackness, and Warm Bodies. You'll be doing yourself a sincere favor.