'Dallas Buyer's Club,' a drama inspired by real-life events, has had a long and unfortunate history in Hollywood, but the on-again, off-again project seems to be getting back on track. It's now got a new director and star on board and appears set to move forward toward production at long last.
Matthew McConaughey is the latest A-lister to step into the role of Ron Woodroof, a heterosexual Dallas electrician who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. Given just months to live, Woodruff rejected the dire prognosis and started a drug smuggling ring that procured unapproved AIDS treatments for victims of the deadly disease. He lived for six years and helped countless other people before his passing.
An uplifting and positive story like 'Dallas Buyer's Club' seems like something Hollywood would rush into production. They've tried, but progress has been stopped cold at nearly every turn.
Over the course of its development, 'Dallas Buyer's Club' has had some major talent linked to it, talent that couldn't get the project off the ground and into a multiplex. Brad Pitt was attached to star for years. Marc Forster wanted to direct. Universal was set to produce. Yet, for any number of reasons, the film never happened.
Now, McConaughey and 'The Young Victoria' director Jean Marc Vallee will once again attempt to resurrect the project, this time as an indie feature. The duo faces an uphill battle, because as McConaughey told the L.A. Times' 24 Frames blog, "It's not exactly the movie that studios are throwing money at these days."
What it is, though, is another opportunity for the actor, who's set to star in 'The Lincoln Lawyer,' to continue to transform his career. McConaughey has shifted focus recently, hoping to move away from lighter fare and romantic comedies in order to hone his dramatic acting chops. This seems like the perfect role to help with that transition. "It's a great script and a great story, and I think it can be a great movie." Perhaps -- if it ever actually gets made. We're crossing our fingers this time's the charm.