Expect some changes in Zach Galifianakis' career. The mostly-comedic actor is set to play a more dramatic, meatier role in It's Kind of a Funny Story, due to begin shooting later this year.
The film is based on a young-adult novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini and is the story of a teenage boy who is sent to a mental institution in the adult ward, where he meets a number of unusual adults and one quirky teenage girl. Galifianakis would play one of the adults, and Emma Roberts (Nickelodeon 'tween darling and Julia Roberts' niece) is in talks to play the teenage love interest. The novel is being adapted for film by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, the writer-directors of critical favorites Half Nelson (2006) and the immigrant-baseball drama Sugar (2008).
Galifianakis, a name on everyone's lips this year because of his memorable turn in summer's The Hangover, is playing yet another strange character here. But the role will likely have a darker, more dramatic edge too. Expect Girl, Interrupted meets Juno.
It's Kind of a Funny Story heads to theaters in 2011. Until then, you can catch Galifianakis in myriad places, including alongside Michael Cera in Youth in Revolt, which opens Oct. 30, road comedy Due Date, which has wrapped filming and is due out next year, the Jay Roach-directed Dinner for Schmucks next year, and The Hangover 2, set to start shooting in 2010.
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