It was a shame to see the multi-faceted dramedy series United States of Tara come to an end, but the upside is that its star, Toni Collette, now has more time to invest in movies. Since its cancellation, she has lined up an impressive slate of projects. She's just wrapped on Mental, a dark comedy that has her reunited with Muriel's Wedding writer/director P.J. Hogan, and is currently shooting the buzzed about docudrama Hitchcock. This summer she'll join The Descendants' scribes Nat Faxon and Jim Rash on their directorial debut The Way, Way Back, where she'll reunite with her Little Miss Sunshine co-star Steve Carell. And now Variety has gotten word on two new projects to which Collette is close to committing.

The first is Miss You Already, a London-set tearjerker described as a modern-day Beaches. Should she sign on, Collette would co-star with Jennifer Aniston, and the two would play life-long friends whose bond is challenged when one gets pregnant and the other gets cancer. Collette has been offered the role of the former, who is described as "the more reserved" of the two. She'd be a great addition to the cast because—well—she's a great addition to any cast, but I worry about Aniston. Long laboring in the realm of broad comedy, she may not be able to rise up to Collette's level, and so will look all the worse for her involvement. Regardless, with Collette attached, this project becomes instantly more compelling.

The other project Collette's considering is The Long Way Down, a dark offering based on a book by Nick Hornby. Of course, she has done well by Hornby before, stealing scenes left in right in the memorable adaptation of his novel About a Boy. Here she'd also be playing an over-stressed single mom, but in this instance one considering chucking herself off a rooftop on New Year's Eve. There she is fatefully joined by three strangers with similar plans. Pierce Brosnan has already signed on to play a talk show host considering escaping a scandal through suicide.

Both productions are slated to shoot in London, The Long Way Down in late summer or early fall, Miss You Already in fall proper, which means Collette could potentially do both. And as she's a bright spot in every film she does, I hope she does.

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