After impressing audiences with turns in last year’s Kick-Ass and Nowhere Boy, Aaron Johnson is taking a rightful step towards being a major lead actor. Evidence of this transition comes to us from Deadline, who say that he’s been offered lead roles in upcoming films from both Oliver Stone and Joe Wright.
First, the Stone. The controversial filmmaker is planning his next movie, titled Savages. The movie follows two pot-growers who have to rescue their female friend, who’s been kidnapped by the Mexican drug cartel. The reason is because their pot is apparently so good that they’ll kill her unless they go to work for them. Based on the novel of the same name by Don Winslow, it’s written by Shane Salerno and Winslow, with a scheduled shooting start of June. The other male lead hasn’t been cast, and while Stone wanted Jennifer Lawrence for the female part, her casting in The Hunger Games makes many people believe that she won’t be able to take the role.
After the failure of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Stone really needs a hit, and this could be a little more commercial. He also knows a thing or two about drugs (oh, lighten up), and Johnson can get the shaggy look right for a pot dealer (see Nowhere Boy). On both a directing and acting front, this pairing makes a lot of sense.
The second film he’s been offered is Anna Karenina, which is being directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley, based on the Tolstoy novel. Wright has discussed the adaptation recently, and his comments about Tom Stoppard‘s script makes me think that it could be done. Jude Law is also in talks for the film. Shooting is expected to begin in the fall, which means Johnson could shoot both films.
This is arguably a meatier role for an actor who’s trying to make his name in Hollywood, if at the same time less commercial. Even taking the lack of wide appeal of it into account, there’s always the chance for awards that Wright’s period pieces have been nominated for. Both work for him, if for different reasons, and it would be nice to see him take on either film.
What do you think of either role? Which sounds more interesting for Johnson, and are you a fan of his work?
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