"The Next Three Days" star Elizabeth Banks is in final negotiations to join Chris Pine in the DreamWorks drama "Welcome to People," the studio has confirmed to TheWrap.
The film marks the directorial debut of "Star Trek" and "Transformers" co-writer Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the script with writing partner Roberto Orci, as well as Jody Lambert.
The story follows a young businessman who returns home after the sudden death of his wealthy yet estranged father. He learns a devastating family secret that sends him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.
Banks will play the alcoholic sister who Pine has never met in the picture.
Kurtzman and Orci are producing through their DreamWorks-based company Paper Products, and they'll be joined on the producing side by Bobby Cohen.
Banks is best known for her scene-stealing work in comedies such as "Wet Hot American Summer," "The Baxter," "Role Models" and most memorably, in "The 40 Year Old Virgin."
The actress seems to be branching out into more dramatic territory with her recent choice of roles, and it will be interesting to see how that decision fares for her career.
I saw Paul Haggis' prison-break drama "The Next Three Days" the other night and while there were moments where Banks impressed me as a mother who has been hardened by hard time in jail, she did seem to be a bit miscast, but that may be because she had little chemistry with star Russell Crowe, who is 10 years older than her in real life.
Having said that, I thought "The Next Three Days" was excellent, and it does showcase another side of Banks' acting abilities. I don't think she's an A-list movie star like Anne Hathaway or Rachel McAdams, but I do believe that she's one of Hollywood's better 30-something actresses, and one with a bright future ahead of her. I actually think she would knock a TV series out of the park, and has Christina Applegate-like potential to blossom on the small screen, but for now she's continuing to create a big screen brand for herself.
Banks has a recurring role as Alec Baldwin's love interest on NBC's "30 Rock," and she's currently filming Asger Leth's heist drama "Man on a Ledge" with Sam Worthington and Jamie Bell.
The actress next stars in "The Details" opposite Tobey Maguire and in the indie comedy "My Idiot Brother" opposite Paul Rudd. She'll also be seen in the outrageous omnibus film "Untitled Comedy," and she's remains attached to star in Disney's "Tink" and DreamWorks' "Forever 21."
Banks is represented by UTA and Untitled Entertainment, and her casting was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.