Boardwalk Empire's Shea Whigham Joins Silver Linings Playbook

Now that Shea Whigham was wrapped filming on the second season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, he’s free to pursue big-screen gigs for his hiatus, and word has reached us that he’s attaching his name to an anticipated drama.

Whigham reportedly will join Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro in David O. Russell’s The Silver Lining Playbook, according to Deadline. The site doesn’t mention which part Whigham will play, though Russell’s supporting cast is loaded with similar heavyweights, from Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker to Animal Kingdom Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver.

An adaptation of Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel, Playbook follows Pat Peoples (Cooper), a man trying to get his life on course after a year spent in a mental health facility. It’s his goal to win back his estranged wife, Nikki (Brea Bee), though he’s aided (or possibly hindered) by multiple, colorful characters including his next-door neighbor, Tiffanay (Lawrence), who has problems all her own.

Russell always had heat around him as a director, though it’s possible more people wanted to work with him on this project thanks to the Oscar-worthy work he did on The Fighter. Or maybe Russell’s Playbook screenplay simply plugs into the pitch-black comedic tones he brought to previous films like Flirting With Disaster, I Heart Huckabees and even Three Kings. No matter the reason, Russell has coaxed an outstanding ensemble for what could be a truly original, strange, funny and heartfelt project. We’ll have to wait until 2013 to find out, but Playbook’s starting to sound like an effort that can deliver.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.