There’s busy, and then there’s
really busy. And then there’s Michelle Williams busy.
Williams has four movies scheduled for release next year. Four? She’s so
busy, her dance card is even filling up with 2009 releases.
The latest casting announcement is that Williams is attached to
Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese,
starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley, and written
by Laeta Kalogridis.
Kalogridis is adapting the Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) novel.
Those names alone promise that many
in the industry will keep an eye on the film throughout production and release.
Critics have always considered
Michelle Williams to be a solid screen presence, but fully breaking out
of the cute teen mold and into a no-I’m-not-just-cute-I-can-actually-act
career path is tough. But she is simply acting her way, one movie
at a time, into a wonderful film career.
Shutter Island is
being classified as a drama/thriller. The story follows a U.S.
Marshal who is investigating the escape of a murderess from an insane
asylum. So I’m guessing this film won’t be easily
confused with Dawson’s Creek. Anyway, Williams will be signing on for
more of a secondary character role — but what a wise career decision, to
sign on in any capacity for a Scorsese-DiCaprio collaboration.
Certainly Williams’ stock
soared after the Academy Award nomination for Brokeback Mountain.
But very early on,
she was taking roles to ward off any “teen queen”
typecasting. Even while still on Dawson’s Creek,
Williams filmed If These Walls Could Talk 2. That put Hollywood
on notice that Creek would not define her. Besides, kissing
Chloe Sevigny did wonders for Hilary Swank‘s career!
I do find it amusing that
Williams was recently replaced as the voice of one of the creatures
in the screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Why is it amusing? Well, she was replaced because her voice didn’t match the producers’
“original vision” of how the Wild Thing should sound. Really? I mean, it’s a fantasy
movie adapted from a children’s book, and Williams was
to be the voice of a creature that no one has ever heard before. Because
it’s in a book. And moms and dads, or two moms or
two dads, have been using weird voices for these creatures
for the last 40 years! So what exact expectation would Williams be failing
to match? Seems a little fishy
to me, but with this Scorsese project lined up, Williams seems to have
landed on her feet.
Anyway, I’m always happy
to see Michelle Williams on the screen. She is expressive yet understated, and always believable.
Shutter Island is doubly interesting to me because the screenwriter
of this pretty major project is a woman. As we all know, there are far
fewer female screenwriters than men, especially on big projects. If you’re not quite familiar with Kalogridis, she helped pen
Oliver Stone‘s film Alexander, starring Angelina Jolie.
But most recently, Kalogridis was one of the writers and executive producers
of Bionic Woman. This brings things full circle, because
when you consider Michelle Williams’ professional schedule, it really is