Jake Gyllenhaal did his dance with commercial fare with Prince of Persia; The Sands of Time and Love & Other Drugs. But since then, he's been throwing himself into risky thrillers with daring directors. Following Duncan Jones's Source Code was David Ayer's brutal cop drama End of Watch. Then came the one-two punch of Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners and Enemy. Now, Gyllenhaal is eying Jean-Marc Vallee’s follow-up to the critically praised yet politically polarizing Dallas Buyers Club.
Variety reports Jake Gyllenhaal has entered into negotiations to headline director Jean-Marc Vallee’s Demolition. Despite a title that suggests serious action scenes of mass destruction, Demolition is a drama all about internal struggle. Penned by Bryan Sipe (Alpha Male, A Million Miles), the film will center on an investment banker whose world should be thrown into spin when his wife dies. However, he feels shockingly disconnected from his grief, and so begins to demolish his own life to find out why his pain is muted. In his self-destructive quest, he meets a woman in a chance encounter that could change everything.
Black Label Media and Mr. Mudd will be producing the pic, with Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill and Molly Smith producing from the former, and Lianne Halfon and John Malkovich for the latter. There's no word yet on who producers are considering for Demolition's female lead.
John Malkovich is best-known as an actor, but the celebrated performer has been producing films since 1988's Academy Award winning Accidental Tourist. Along with Ghost World and Juno, Malkovich has had a hand in producing such celebrated dramedies as Young Adult and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Demolition will mark Jean-Marc Vallee's first collaboration with Malkovich and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Dallas Buyers Club brought Vallee loads of attention and acclaim, so it's little wonder that his next film is looking to land a star as well-known and well-regarded as Gyllenhaal. With Demolition slated to go into production next month, a decision should come down in short order as to whether Gyllenhaal is in or out. With a crowded schedule ahead of him, it's possible that Demolition might be too demanding for Gyllenhaal right now.
Jake Gyllenhaal has a slate of titles already prepping for release in 2014 and 2015. He's completed production on Nailed, a romantic-comedy helmed by David O. Russell that co-stars James Marsden, Jessica Biel and Catherine Keener. Last winter he fronted Night Crawler, a crime drama written and directed by Dan Gilroy that has Gyllenhaal playing a L.A. writer who trips into the treacherous world of crime journalism. Most recently, he wrapped on Baltasar Kormákur's Everest, a drama based on the harrowing true story of two climbing expeditions that set out to conquer the titular mountain, only to suffer terrible losses.
While Nailed is completed, Night Crawler and Everest are trekking their way through post as Gyllenhaal's next drama readies for production. That'd be Southpaw, a boxing drama helmed by Antoine Fuqua that's looking to shoot this summer. Gyllenhaal is now in training for the physically intensive lead in Southpaw, and it's possible its schedule needs cementing before he can join Demolition. While producers and agents sort all this out, let's just consider ourselves lucky to have so much Gyllenhaal in our future.