Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan Look for Wildlife Under Paul Dano

Sometimes when you pull something off, nothing seems impossible. Take Paul Dano for instance. Younger audiences were introduced to the actor with The Girl Next Door. He played a good character but, if one was going to bet that he had a big career ahead in Hollywood, the payout would have been huge. Dano began making more appearances in features such as Little Miss Sunshine and Fast Food Nation. Following those up, he made his Oscar-worthy appearance in There Will Be Blood. Starring opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, he held his own against an Academy Award veteran. It became clear that this dude was going places.

After plenty of more impressive roles, the actor teamed with Daniel Radcliffe to turn some heads with the eccentric Swiss Army Man. A film that has one of the lead stars playing a cadaver should have gone bad, but it didn't. Impressive. So what's next?

Paul Dano to Direct Wildlife

Paul Dano in Swiss Army Man

Taking advantage of his momentum, Paul Dano is taking the phrase, "the world is your oyster," by the horns. See how I mixed two phrases there? Nice. But, back to Dano...

Variety reports that Paul Dano not only wrote a script, but he'll be making his directorial debut off that very same screenplay. Impressive, but he did get some inspiration, as the script is not an original story. Instead, Dano adapted the Richard Ford novel by the same name, which tells the tale of a boy who witnesses his parents’ marriage falling apart after his mom finds another man.

The story sounds like a real downer, so the adaptation should at least better have some actors to deliver the drama. Fortunately for Dano, the production is off to a strong start.

Gyllenhaal and Mulligan to Star in Wildlife

Carey Mulligan in An Education

June Pictures have cast Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan to co-star in the drama, with Wildlife being their first film together. Dano explained that he couldn't be happier.

“In Richard’s book I saw myself and many others. I have always wanted to make films — and have always known I would make films about family. I couldn’t be happier to have such beautiful collaborators like Carey and Jake leading the way.”

Things continue to go Dano's way and, while it might sound risky for such a production for a first-time director, June Pictures seems excited to have Dano leading the charge.

“Paul is a natural born storyteller — a force. We are thrilled to collaborate with him and these phenomenal actors to bring his exquisite vision for this film to life.”

It should be pretty interesting to see if Dano can turn a story about a broken home into a marketable film. But, at this point, I wouldn't be against him.