Following a breakthrough role in The Hangover, comedian Zach Galifianakis became quite a hot commodity, though some of his roles felt like they were studio attempts to softly cash in on the actor's odd comedic sensibilities and throw him at mainstream audiences. The only role that didn't feel like a cheap gimmick was his surprisingly dramatic turn in It's Kind of a Funny Story, but it sounds like we might get another worthwhile performance from the comedian soon. Screen Daily counts Galifianakis amongst the cast for director Justin Chadwick's film adaptation of Deborah Moggach's period novel Tulip Fever.
For those who may not be familiar with the book, here's the official synopsis:
In 1630s Amsterdam, tulipomania has seized the populace. Everywhere men are seduced by the fantastic exotic flower. But for wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort, it is his young and beautiful wife, Sophia, who stirs his soul. She is the prize he desires, the woman he hopes will bring him the joy that not even his considerable fortune can buy.
Cornelis yearns for an heir, but so far he and Sophia have failed to produce one. In a bid for immortality, he commissions a portrait of them both by the talented young painter Jan van Loos. But as Van Loos begins to capture Sophia's likeness on canvas, a slow passion begins to burn between the beautiful young wife and the talented artist.
As the portrait unfolds, so a slow dance is begun among the household's inhabitants. Ambitions, desires, and dreams breed a grand deception -- and as the lies multiply, events move toward a thrilling and tragic climax.
Chadwick previously directed The Other Boleyn Girl and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and this time he's working from a script by Tom Stoppard (Anna Karenina, Shakespeare in Love). As for the rest of the cast, it certainly makes Galifianakis feel a bit out of place with Christoph Waltz, Dane DeHaan, Jack O'Connell, Holliday Grainger and Alicia Vikander attached. Of course, we have every bit of faith and curiosity in Galifianakis tackling something so remarkably different after having to sit through three films to make up The Hangover franchise. The film is on sale at Cannes, and we hope to hear more soon.