Jumping from your native country to the big, scary world of United States filmmaking (even independent) often requires a lot from any filmmaker, so having a little quality at your disposal makes all the difference. I’d say Vidhu Vinod Chopra is off to a good start, then, with his English-language debut, Broken Houses, as Variety tell us the drama will be peppered with onscreen — the likes of which include Anton Yelchin, Thomas Jane, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sean Patrick Flannery, María Valverde, and Chris Marquette. I doubt I’d get that if I switched continents.

Chopra‘s screenplay — developed with frequent collaborator Abhijat Joshi — is a Death Valley-set tale of violence and drugs between Mexican gangs. Variety’s description tell us Broken Houses really finds itself “in the shadows” of this issue, a descriptor which almost leads me to think of a Crash-esque drama about how this battle affects multiple people. That’s not something many of us are too keen to still see nowadays — unless it actually shares traits with David Cronenberg‘s Crash, in which case… — but I don’t know the deal and I won’t go making up my mind. Chopra has a good reputation in his native India, and the people converging on Broken Houses inspires confidence of some sort.

Mandeville Films, Reliance Entertainment, and the director’s Vinod Chopra Films are producing the film, which is currently in production.

Similar news also stems from Variety, whereat it’s said actor Joel David Moore (Avatar) will go on the other side of the camera to helm a dark comedy titled Killing Winston Jones. He’s not the point of interest, however, as the Justin T. Winters-penned script has attracted a half-good, half-bad assortment of actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover, Jon Heder, and Danny Masterson. (I’ll leave you to decide who’s who.)

Killing Winston Jones follows a sixth-grade English teacher (Masterson) who, for desires unexplained, is attempting to name the school’s new gym after his father, Winston (Dreyfuss). To earn your name on the institution, one must be dead, and these plans are impacted by the simple fact that his father is very much alive — which is probably where the title gains a greater significance. There’s also the mention of plot thread where Winston enters a rights contest with his past competitor, played by Glover, making this the only time I’ve been even slightly curious as to who Jon Heder might play in anything.

RadioactiveGiant are set to produce and distribute Killing Winston Jones, making this film their debut outing.

Does either film sound to be off to a good start?

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