May 2008, awesome project alert, enough to get all of the Playlist staff in a lather. Noah Baumbach coming off the poorly-received “Margot At the Wedding” (deserved much better, most underrated of 2007 frankly), announces a new relationship project called “Greenberg.” The idea was conceived by Baumbach and his then-wife Jennifer Jason Leigh (they divorced this year), and the cast? Mark Ruffalo and Amy Adams were set to lead. Holy shit, get us to that theater stat. But Ruffalo’s brother committed suicide shortly thereafter and the actor bowed out only to be replaced by… Ben Stiller? Adams also left in that middle-ground era, but it’s unclear whether she bailed when Ruffalo did (though we’d like to think she’d rather act in a Baumbach film with Ruffalo over Stiller). Greta Gerwig eventually took the female role, and the film… well, it hit to mixed results, perhaps no better reflected then in our 2010 year end lists. One list (with one writer) calls it overrated, another list (from a different writer) calls it underrated. No matter what our disparate opinions are, most of us can agree that the original concept simply had much higher caliber actors. Two that have yet to win Oscars, but no doubt eventually will get pretty damn close, if not finally win the gold statue. Our guess is the initial cast would have made for a “Kids Are All Right”-type scenario—an indie film with bona fide Oscar 10 chances.
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