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John Slattery smooth-talks his way into directing some of the best character actors around in his feature debut

Having honed his skills by directing several episodes of Mad Men—episodes that, demonstrating admirable restraint, weren’t just a series of scenes in which Roger Sterling beds every woman in the office—John Slattery is now moving on to movies. Variety reports that Slattery has landed the impressive cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro, and Richard Jenkins for his feature-directing debut, with the triumvirate of character actors joining his co-star Christina Hendricks in an adaptation of Pete Dexter’s novel God’s Pocket. The disappointingly non-literal story—which does not concern a bored God digging a half-packet of Certs and some forgotten, lint-covered Israelites out of his robe—is set in the blue-collar town of God’s Pocket, where one man’s attempt to cover up the death of his stepson in a construction accident becomes complicated by a nosy newspaper reporter. Slattery, who also co-wrote the adaptation with Alex Metcalf, has been talking up the project for a while now, using that smooth, silvery voice until—before they knew it—the contracts were crumpled on his bedroom floor, and the cast and producers were stumbling out into daylight to make this thing. 

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