Russell’s legacy vs. Doug Wick

David O. Russell will adapt and direct Sammy’s Hill, a film based on Kristin Gore‘s chick-lit, inside-the- Washington-beltway book about a single woman coping with romantic and job-pressure issues, and that’s good news all around. People forget from time to time how good Russell can be, and that real talent mitigates bad behavior. (My view is that loud profane arguments are not a problem if you’re up against Russell — the problem is when the yellers are second- and third-raters.)

But producer Doug Wick struck exactly the wrong chord when he told THR‘s Tatiana Siegel that Sammy’s Hill “will do for Washington, D.C., what Talladega Nights did for race car driving.”

What WIck should have said (and what I hope to God he really meant) is that Sammy’s Hill will do for Washington, D.C. relationships and power games what Russell’s Flirting With Disaster did to illuminate late ’90s relationships and anxieties. You really can’t get farther away from the smart, subversive spirit of David O. Russell than to mention an oafish, blue-collar comedy like Talledega Nights…I mean, c’mon.

“We are going for a bold, subversive comedy,” Wick elaborated, “and David O. Russell is one of the most original voices working in comedy.” Fine and good.

Russell is “working closely” with Kristin Gore (i.e., Al Gore‘s daughter), Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein on the screenplay, writes Siegel. Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing. Sony suits Matt Tolmach and Rachel O’Connor are overseeing for the studio, and Rachel Shane is “shepherding” the project (i.e., she personally relates to the book, knows Gore, provided the relationship hook-up, urged the optioning/buying of rights) for Wick and Fisher’s Red Wagon.