At the beginning of 2007, we noted that Brad Pitt was all set to star in The Dallas Buyer's Club, which was the honest-to-God story of Ron Woodroof -- the heterosexual, homophobic electrician who contracted HIV in 1980, was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986 and eventually went on to found the famous Dallas Buyer's Club through which he smuggled life-prolonging and then-illicit meds to area AIDS patients. The director was said to be Marc Forster (Stranger Than Fiction); the screenwriter, Guillermo Arriaga (Babel), working from an earlier script by Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack. Turns out, that was all very, very premature.
Instead, Variety now notes, Woodroof will be portrayed by Ryan Gosling, who was Oscar-nominated for his role as the drug-addicted teacher Dan Dunne in 2006's Half Nelson. And the film will now be directed by Craig Gillespie, who last directed Gosling in the unjustly overlooked and surprisingly touching (for a movie about a man in love with a rubber woman, anyway) Lars and the Real Girl. "This is about one man's enduring spirit to live and the effect his actions had on others, even if his actions didn't start out entirely as altruistic," says producer David Bushell. The film, now with a script by relative newcomer Chase Palmer, will be distributed through Universal. No word yet on whether it'll be filmed here. --Robert Wilonsky