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Now that Zooey Deschanel is toplining FOX’s successful sitcom New Girl, people might forget that the saucer-eyed ingénue dominated the movie scene for years. With some time off between New Girl seasons, Deschanel announced that she’s contemplating a return to her big-screen roots for an independent time-travel drama-comedy.
About Time will be written and directed by Love Actually helmer Richard Curtis. It hopes to cast Deschanel as Mary, the love interest for Tim, a young man who, according to Variety, "comes from a family of time-travelers." Once Tim learns of his unique heritage, he begins using his newfound abilities to change complicated situations. The trade says Tim will be played by Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, best known for playing Bill Weasley in the final two Harry Potter films.
Time travel is the go-to storytelling device for screenwriters lately (it also powers Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass’ festival favorite Safety Not Guaranteed, not to mention a bunch of other projects in development), but with Curtis at the helm you know he’ll dig beyond the sci-fi of the premise to unearth the heart (especially with Deschanel as his possible leading lady).
Deschanel finds herself in a unique spot. Very few working television actors balance a busy movie schedule as well as usually the time commitment requires actors to choose one medium over the other. It will be interesting to see if she can continue to find substantial roles that fit her New Girl hiatus schedule. At the same time, I’ve completely warmed up to New Girl now that the sitcom has found its stride, and wouldn’t mind if Deschanel put the movie (and music) career on hold to keep improve one of the few entertaining sitcoms on TV today. We’ll see how things shake out, but what would you like to see Deschanel do?