Meryl Streep to Take Pills, Raise Julia Roberts

Back in 2010, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were tentatively attached to the adaptation of Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, August: Osage County. The 13-character ensemble play — about a dysfunctional Oklahoma family, the Westons, all brought home by the disappearance of father Weston — was a huge hit with the critics on Broadway. It’s also a sprawling, ambitious production that runs over three hours. Which is to say: a high-profile, elite-acted movie transition seemed inevitable. But, then, the deal stalled out. It didn’t seem to matter much to its principals. Streep took the time to transform into Margaret Thatcher for The Iron Lady, and copped another Oscar nomination (with an all-time best 17 nominations overall, she is the Boston Celtics of acting). Julia Roberts made Larry Crowne and the upcoming Snow White revision Mirror Mirror, and generally continued living her life as Julia Roberts.

And, just as it looked like August: Osage County promotional McDonald’s Happy Meals would be out of the picture forever, the project was revived. Yesterday, the Weinstein Co. announced it was making moves on its original plans for August featuring Meryl and Julia. Streep will play the mother, Violet, who is addicted to pills and to crapping all over her kids’ failed lives. Roberts is currently booked as one of the daughters; presumably that means she’ll play the oldest, Barbara. John Wells (E.R., The Company Men) will direct. Meryl, girl, listen, if you wanna get all Method in your research, get at me — I totally know a guy who can get Percocet.

Filed Under: Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Movies

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Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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