How's this for an understatement? "My next film is gonna star Mariah Carey, so that should be really interesting."
I initially interpret Aaron Woodley's words as a Colbert-ian jape but, no, he's quite serious. Reports published in the industry trades last week confirm it. Produced by Lee Daniels (Monster's Ball, The Woodsman), the film is called Tennessee and is slated to start shooting in the spring.
"It's a straight-ahead drama about two brothers on a road trip," Woodley continues. "The younger brother has leukemia and they're searching for their estranged father to help save his life through a bone-marrow transplant. They haven't talked to him in 10 years and he was an abusive alcoholic. Along the way, they meet Mariah Carey's character, who's working in a diner and has dreams of being a country singer."
Woodley admits that this is about as far away from Rhinoceros Eyes as he could get. But he's determined not to be pigeonholed "as the director who does these weird quirky movies." (Perhaps he's recalling the time his uncle nearly directed Basic Instinct 2.) As for Carey's contribution, Woodley believes it will banish any unpleasant memories of her first movie venture. "Glitter," he says, letting the title hang in the air for a moment. "Whatever -- that's the past. People will see what she's really capable of."
She really liked Rhinoceros Eyes, too. She told him so while she was giving him a tour of her closets. No, he's still not making this up.