Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are set to co-star in the movie version of Tracy Letts' big-hit play August: Osage County, which starts shooting in the fall. The Tony Award-winning August—which premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007 before transferring to Broadway, where it ran for a year and a half—is a comedy-melodrama set entirely in a big house in Oklahoma where the many, many members of the Weston familiy have gathered on the occasion of its patriarch's disappearance, all so they can take turns screaming at each other, revealing terrible secrets, and then screaming about those revelations. Obviously, it's pretty great movie material from the get-go. Streep will play the chain-smoking, prescription-drug-addicted, acid-tongued family matriarch Violet—thus taking a big movie role away from the person who would have been the most natural fit for it, Joan Rivers (which should give Streep some satisfaction after all the nasty things Joan has said about her on the red carpet).
Roberts plays Violet's daughter, a motor-mouthed drunk, so expect to see the two Oscar winners doing a whole lot of lurching and slurring when they're not busy screaming. The film will be directed by John Wells, whose Showtime series Shameless is actually a lot like the play, if the play had faked an injury to get disability benefits. It has not yet been announced how the script will account for the fact that these Okies all speak in whichever weird accent Streep will expertly deploy after picking it out by throwing darts at a map.
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