Following a bidding war that included names like Weinstein, Clooney, and Witherspoon, Warner Bros. ultimately won the rights to produce a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of war photographer Lynsey Addario, It’s What I Do. Steven Spielberg will direct and Jennifer Lawrence will play the lead. If that doesn’t appeal to a broad audience of moviegoers, American Sniper producer Andrew Lazar is also attached to the project. Not that we needed any further convincing that Lawrence is a bankable star, but putting her in a Spielberg-directed war movie is pretty off the charts.
What’s so exciting about this is the prospect of a blockbuster star like Jennifer Lawrence doing a solid, heavy war drama with a director who has made a career out of solid, heavy war dramas, except that this one will be headlined by a woman. Spielberg has obviously made movies with women, but with the exception of The Color Purple, which starred Whoopi Goldberg, they couldn’t be considered the lead the way Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan), or Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones) were.
Here’s the even better part: While Goldberg had one movie to her credit when Spielberg cast her in The Color Purple, Lawrence is an established star. She delivers in lead and supporting roles, in huge movies and smaller Oscar fare. At the age of 24, Lawrence is already a power player on the same team as Hanks, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Sandra Bullock. She was clearly legit before, but now she’s Spielberg Legit, and this movie will most likely make obscene amounts of money, considering its director, its star, and its producer.
It makes one wonder what the hell took Spielberg so long to find another movie with a strong female lead, but maybe he was just waiting for Jennifer Lawrence’s schedule to clear up.