Jennifer Lawrence looks to the sky for ‘Joy’ and fewer franchise flicks

She's almost done with “The Hunger Games” franchise.  We “think” she's almost done playing Mystique in the “X-Men” movies.  What's next?  More “Joy” most likely.

You might not have realized this, but Jennifer Lawrence's commitment to filming and promoting both those franchise has limited the amount of prestige work the Oscar winning actress can handle in a given calendar year. She basically was able to fit in one or two more “serious” pictures in-between each blockbuster, but that's changing following the completion of “X-Men: Apocalypse” this summer.  Lawrence will next segue into Morten Tyldum's “Passengers,” a Sci-Fi tale about a man (Chris Pratt) on a ship transporting thousands of people across the galaxy whose hibernation chamber malfunctions causing him to awake sixty years before they arrive at their destination.  Lonely, he awakens a female passenger played by Lawrence.  Whether she'll be happy to accompany him remains to be seen, but it's certainly a fetching scenario. At first glance it may seem like a big, space-faring spectacle (and there may be aspects of that to it), but the buzz is “Passengers” is really a more intimate drama that made studio Sony Pictures focus on recruiting two of the biggest stars in the world to headline it to cover costs.  Again, Lawrence isn't jumping to join another blockbuster franchise and that's one reason the upcoming “Joy” has garnered so much attention.

Based on the true story of Joy Mangano, a Long Island woman who invited the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers, the drama is yet another attempt by David O. Russell to get into the good graces of The Academy (always a bridesmaid, never a winner).  Amazingly, he was able to entice Lawrence to reunite with him for a third time to play Mangano reportedly over a 20-year span.  Lawrence won an Oscar for her role in Russell's “Playbook” and earned her third nomination for 2013's “American Hustle.” Unlike those two ensemble pics, however, “Joy” has her front and center.  Sure, Bradley Cooper has a supporting role, but this is Mangano's story and there must have been something there that sparked Lawrence's passions (and instincts for good material).

Of course, “Joy” isn't without some controversy.  Writers and many in the industry are already grumbling over the fact Russell rewrote so much of Annie Mumolo's well regarded screenplay that the “Bridesmaids” scripter received only a “story” credit.  Then again, Lawrence and Russell haven't disappointed yet.  

The drama won't hit theaters until Christmas, but in the meantime you can check the trailer out embedded at the top of this post and the brand new poster below.

“Joy” opens nationwide on Dec. 25.