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Joe Swanberg blowing away his indie credibility

Joe Swanberg has built a reputation as a prolific director of intensely collaborative, heavily improvised indie films that traffic more in character study than high-concept premises. Thus, it is assumed that maybe three people on the internet who care intensely about “selling out” will be furious, as The Wrap reports that the director has signed on to direct his first studio project, the romantic comedy Work Wife, for New Line.

The film was written by Trophy Wife scribes Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, who also penned a film called Lunch Lady for Universal. (That’s a total of two “wife” titles and one “lady” title, indicating that the duo has definitely found its title niche.) The script, soon to be called out in a comments thread somewhere as being “such a corporate tool move for Swanberg,” follows two thirtysomething lawyers who try to see if they can get away with dating a co-worker. Swanberg’s most recent film, Digging For Fire, was co-written with his Drinking Buddies star Jake Johnson and was picked up by The Orchard at Sundance this year. Swanberg’s last three movies have all included Anna Kendrick, a move that someone with a handle like “@gotthestraightedge” will soon decry as “pretty Hollywood, bro.” Swanberg also recently appeared in the worthwhile eerie drama Thou Wast Mild And Lovely, as well as acting in several of his and his friends’ films.


There is no release date yet for Work Wife, though a self-righteous blogger has declared that he will see it “the same day that Ian Mackaye gets a job at Pottery barn, Swanberg, you big-money hack.”

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