The film would be Nichols' first since “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which opened in 2007 and is one of two films the director of “The Graduate” and “The Birdcage” has made over the past decade.
Nichols has alternated between film and theater, directing a revival of “Death of a Salesman” last year. He is currently directing Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in “Betrayal,” and has discussed this new project with Craig as well.
No deal has been made for Nichols, but Abrams' Bad Robot production company is serious enough about the project that it has also begun reaching out to actors.
Abrams is producing the film through Bad Robot, which has a deal with Paramount. The adult drama, based on Jonathan Tropper’s sixth novel, would be an outlier at a studio focused on big-budget action franchises ("Transformers") and microbudget horror films and comedies ("Paranormal Activity").
The story chronicles Drew Silver, a lovable, neer-do-well divorcee who discovers he needs emergency heart surgery. Silver opts against the procedure, and tries to use his remaining time on earth to better his relationshisp with his family. His wife, Denise, is about to be remarried while his teenage daughter, Casey, is pregnant.