How many of you saw Resurrecting the Champ last year? In the film, a struggling newspaper journalist comes across a homeless man who claims to be a famous boxer. He writes an article about him and finally gets his break. The story in Joe Wright's The Soloist is similar, but about a cellist instead. In this film, Jamie Foxx plays Nathaniel Ayers, a musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia during his second year at The Juilliard School. Ayers became homeless and played the cello and violin in downtown Los Angeles before being discovered by LA Times journalist Steve Lopez, played by Robert Downey Jr, who wrote a few articles about Ayers. USA Today has our first look at the two in the film that arrives this December.
It might be appropriate to call The Soloist this year's Pursuit of Happyness. Both films were released in November and are about the struggles of a homeless genius. However, The Soloist seems much more like an emotional combination of Dreamgirls and Pursuit of Happyness than anything else. The film is being directed by Joe Wright, of Atonement and Pride & Prejudice previously. If you saw Atonement last year, you know Joe Wright can definitely direct. Maybe this will finally be his chance for Oscar glory?
If you're curious, you can read Steve Lopez's actual articles written about Nathaniel Ayers over on LATimes.com. A few photos from the set of The Soloist hit back in February as well. DreamWorks is releasing The Soloist on November 21st later this year. Stay tuned for the first trailer and more coverage on this film as we near the release date.