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Steve Martin to have a Big Year with Jack Black and Owen Wilson?

03.11.2010

A BIG YEAR... bird-watching?

Based on Mark Obmascik's 1998 book The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession, the avian comedy follows three men "who try to outdo each other in a bird-watching competition to spot the rarest birds in North America. The rivalry is an allegory for the challenges each faces in his own life." Directing will be David Frankel (MARLEY & ME, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA) off a Howard Franklin (ANTITRUST, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE) script adaptation.

Steve Martin, coming off strong after co-hosting this past weekend's Academy Awards ceremony, is in negotiations to replace Dustin Hoffman and join the already cast Jack Black and Owen Wilson for what's sure to be some unmitigated birding tomfoolery. Just look at this description of the book:

"There is a well-known competition among birders called the Big Year, in which one abandons one's regular life for one whole year in order to see more species of birds in a geographic area than one's competitors. Environmental journalist Obmascik follows the 1998 Big Year's three main competitors--a New Jersey roofing contractor, a corporate executive, and a software engineer--as they crisscross the country in search of birds. Whether looking for flamingos in the Everglades, great grey owls in the frozen bogs near Duluth, or Asian rarities on the Aleutian island of Attu, these obsessed birders not only faced seasickness, insects, altitude sickness, and going into debt, they also faced each other."

In the right hands, this actually sounds like it could make for an interesting documentary. As a scripted comedy, though... I guess we'll have to wait and see.

THE BIG YEAR begins shooting this May in Canada.
Extra Tidbit: 'Soon as I'm done here, I think I'm gonna go watch THE JERK.

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