The last time he performed in a musically themed role, he won an Academy Award for his trouble, and one good biopic deserves another, so Jamie Foxx has just signed on to star in The Soloist, a film about a prodigy whose career is derailed by the onset of schizophrenia.
The prodigy in question, Nathaniel Ayers, started showing symptoms of the disease during his second season at Julliard, and ended up on the streets of Los Angeles, where he plays violin and cello for passersby under what he believes to be the protection of the spirit of Beethoven. Ayers got the public’s attention through the work of an LA Times reporter named Steve Lopez, whose columns (and upcoming book) formed part of the basis for the movie’s script — which was written, according to Variety, by Erin Brockovich screenwriter Susannah Grant.
The article also mentions that the film will be directed by Joe Wright, previously known for directing the Keira Knightley projects Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. Foxx is already studying stringed instruments under the direction of a cellist from the L.A. Philharmonic. The star, who will turn 40 in December, will need to undergo a bit of a transformation to play a second-year Julliard student, as well as that same student more than 30 years later, but he’s certainly got the dramatic chops to pull it off. To read one of Lopez’s columns about Ayers, follow the second link below.