Steve Carell to play a crazy murderer, though still not in our Dan In Real Life sequel

Steve Carell to play a crazy murderer, though still not in our Dan In Real Life sequel

Steve Carell has been making a concerted effort for years now to break away from his Office persona, only to time and again end up once more playing some variation on the loveable loser, albeit generally one who’s not cartoonishly stupid. (Except when he is.) But you’ve never seen him play a loveable loser who’s also a murderer, which is what he’ll do in the upcoming Foxcatcher for Moneyball director Bennett Miller. In the true story scripted by Miller’s Capote collaborators E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Carell will star as John DuPont, multimillionaire heir to the DuPont Chemical fortune, whose hobbies included bird-watching, shell- and stamp-collecting, and watching wrestling, a sport he so enjoyed that he built a wrestling training facility, Team Foxcatcher, on his lavish estate, and invited longtime friend and Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz to work out there.

Unfortunately, one of DuPont’s other hobbies was slowly going crazy, as he suffered from a paranoid schizophrenia that led him to do things like rig his attic with razor wire and, tragically, shoot and kill Schultz, all because he believed Schultz was part of an international conspiracy to assassinate him. And following the murder, DuPont holed up in his mansion while negotiating with police over the telephone, meaning Foxcatcher is going to succeed based almost entirely on Carell’s convincing portrayal of a guy with a lot of inner demons. It’s definitely a bold, dramatic step for him—though still not as dramatic as our ongoing sequel script for Dan In Real Life: Back 2 The Life, where we’re now up to Act III:

INT. SEWER

Dan creeps forward cautiously, his black duster skirting the puddles of filth at his feet. His hands tense around his trusty shotgun as he approaches the faint light at the end of the tunnel.

DAN (v.o.)

You know that feeling in your heart? When your heart is just pounding, like it's actually outside your ribs? Like when you’re approaching a subterranean lair of underground rebels, and you’re unsure whether they’ll welcome you as another member of the resistance—or blast first, assuming you’re part of the alien invasion being led by your former lover who’s now the Earth’s reptilian overlord? Exposed, vulnerable, but wonderful and awful, and heartsick, and alive, all at the same time? 

CUT TO: Suddenly, two men in bedraggled, makeshift armor are upon him, thrusting their own guns in his face. Dan stops, raising his hands as a gesture of peace. Silence, save the dripping of the pipes. Slowly, a figure with artfully mussed hair steps out of the shadows behind them.

MITCH

Hey, bro. Who would have thought we’d both get screwed by the same woman again?

DAN

Life…. is full of disappointments. Got any pancakes?

They share a bitter laugh.