Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep could make more movie magic


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EXCLUSIVE: Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep, both great actors in their own right, seemed even stronger when they shared the screen in “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Julie & Julia.” Now they could be teaming up again — this time with Tucci behind the camera.

A film package being circulated to studios by Creative Artists Agency has an appealing cast and enticing premise: Tucci would direct stars Streep and Tina Fey in a project tentatively titled “Mommy & Me,” according to sources familiar with the package.


There’s no script and no writers yet on the film, which is obviously at the shopping/development stage, but the central idea is that of a mother-daughter comedy that will give the two actresses a chance to flash their comedic and dramatic chops. There’s also something sort of brilliant about the title: If Fey’s “Date Night” drew couples to theaters on their own date nights, “Mommy & Me” could have a similar effect on mothers and daughters looking for some bonding time at the multiplex.

A number of studios have shown interest. But Sony, which is beginning to corner the market on female-oriented counter-programmers (it has the upcoming “Eat, Pray, Love” and has just signed on for another Ryan Murphy-Julia Roberts collaboration) is in the pole position to land the film.
It’s unclear at this point if Tucci would also star, but he will produce along with his partners Steve Buscemi and Wren Arthur through their Olive Productions company. (A number of other production companies are also involved, including Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold of Safehouse -- Harold wrote the treatment on which the project is based and Lucy Barzun Donnelly and Joshua Astrachan of Locomotive.)

Tucci has taken occasional detours into directing, with perhaps his first foray being the most notable — he co-directed 1996’s “Big Night,” a breakout comedy that captured the mayhem as two restaurateur brothers plan one last blowout meal to save their struggling eatery. Streep has perfected the wise-but-flawed mother in movies as varied as “Prime” and “It’s Complicated,” while Fey has delved into matters maternal in the mid-budget “Baby Mama.”
Taken together, all three names up the cachet level. Adding to the appeal: comedies about female relationships have been pretty big hits of late. “Julie & Julia” and “Mama Mia” drew crowds the past two summers and “Eat Pray Love” is looking like it could do the same this summer.

— Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia.” Credit: Sony Pictures

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