Anna Kendrick is adding another hyphen to her collection (see: star of stage, screen, and the Billboard charts with the “Cup Song”). The actor will make her directorial debut with The Dating Game, based on a Black List script from Ian McDonald.
The Dating Game, unfortunately, is not part of the rom-com renaissance, despite the ostensibly cutesy name. Instead, it’s the “stranger-than-fiction story of Cheryl Bradshaw, a bachelorette candidate on hit 70s TV matchmaking show The Dating Game,” per The Hollywood Reporter. During her time on the show, she chose “the funny and handsome bachelor number one, Rodney Alcala. But Bradshaw’s fairy tale date takes a terrifying turn when the bachelor drops his charming façade to reveal the truth: Alcala is in fact a psychopathic serial killer.”
The film was previously set at Netflix back in 2021 with Chloe Okuno set to direct and Kendrick set to star as Cheryl. After that partnership fell through, Kendrick was clearly passionate enough about the project to continue pursuing it, this time stepping up to the director’s chair. (The Pitch Perfect alum will still play Cheryl, with additional casting ongoing, per THR.)
“I’ve loved this script from the moment I read it,” Kendrick said in a statement. “And while I was obviously thrilled to be playing the character of Sheryl, I felt so connected to the story, the tone and the themes around gender and intimacy, that when the opportunity came up to direct the film, I jumped at it. It feels meant to be.”
McDonald’s script was originally titled Rodney & Cheryl on the Black List, which is a yearly roundup of Hollywood’s great unproduced scripts. Notable success stories from the Black List include In Bruges, Juno, and Wolf Of Wall Street. Less successful (so far) is the already-infamous Don’t Worry Darling, which was adapted from a Black List script by Dick Van Dyke’s grandchildren, of all things. Here’s hoping newly minted actor-director Anna Kendrick has a little more luck with The Dating Game.