Jack Black is going to star in a movie called Bailout-- but don't worry, the voice of the Kung Fu Panda is not going to attempt to explain the financial crisis or its resulting bailout to us (maybe Inside Job did such a good job explaining it no one else will try?) The project, announced at Cannes and reported by Deadline, would team Black up with The Trip and The Killer Inside Me director Michael Winterbottom, in a story about an average schlub who gets caught up in a sketchy business opportunity.

It's based on Jess Walter's novel The Financial Lives of the Poets, which gets its title from the main character's first failed business venture: a website called Poetfolio.com, which features "poetry about finance, or money-lit." The book was published in 2009, almost exactly a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers that marked the beginning of our public understanding of this financial disaster; the New York Times praised it for capturing "fiscal panic and frustration." Black seems like a pretty good match for a main character described as an "out-of-work, out-of-gas loser," and given that he hasn't made a movie you'd call daring since starring in Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, it's seems the right time for Black to remind us he's more than the panda voice man after all.

Shooting begins this August with independent financing from The King's Speech financier Prescience-- probably an irrelevant connection, but maybe a good sign all the same.

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