Nancy Meyers’ return to the director’s chair is underway.
After not directing a movie since 2015 The intern, the filmmaker known for her upscale romantic comedies, is back with a project that attracts top talent. Scarlett Johansson is circling the lead role in Meyers’ upcoming feature film for Netflix, multiple sources say The Hollywood Reporterwith Penélope Cruz, Owen Wilson and Michael Fassbender also eyeing the project.
Netflix had no comment.
Meyers will write, direct and produce the comedy, currently known as Paris Paramountthough it’s not clear if that’s the actual title, a working title, or a code name.
Sources say the story revolves around a talented young writer-director who falls in love with a producer, with the pair making several successful films before calling it quits romantically and professionally. However, the two are forced back together when a great new project emerges, and they find themselves teaming up again, dealing with high stakes and fleeting stars.
There are several parallels with Meyers’ own life. She was in a long-term romantic and professional relationship with fellow writer-director-producer Charles Shyer after they met while working in Hollywood. The couple got married and had an enviable production with movies like Private Benjamin, Baby Boom, The Parent Trap And Father of the bride. After Meyers and Shyer split, Meyers went on to write and direct movies like Something has to give And The holiday.
The project is currently projecting a budget between $130 million and $150 million — meaning it could be the most expensive romantic comedy to come out of Hollywood — with the studio and filmmakers going back and forth on cost, as for the first reported by Puk. It’s been in the works for a while, with the studio first announcing the feature back in April last year. A previous incarnation circling late last year had Jennifer Lawrence aiming for the lead before the Oscar winner dropped out for unspecified reasons.
Romantic comedies have long been the realm of the mid-budget, but Meyers has commanded prices on the higher end for the genre. Her productions have earned a high place in the rom-com annals, with Architectural abstract-worthy production design and call sheets with huge stars a la Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.
Meyers last directed the 2015 comedy The intern, with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. (She produced the 2017 feature film Home again, written and directed by her daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer.) “I’m taking a break,” Meyers said in a 2019 conversation with Mindy Kaling at the annual Produced By conference. She also discussed the disappearance of mid-budget comedies like hers from the theater market: “The business has changed in a way that’s somewhat unrecognizable to me.” The Meyers canon also includes It’s complicated And What women want.
Johansson was last seen in the Marvel movie Black Widow and is set for Wes Anderson’s new movie Asteroid City. Cruz is set for Michael Mann’s FerrariWill Wilson next appear in the Disney movie Haunted houseand Fassbender is ready for Searchlight and Taika Waititi’s Next goal wins.