When Josh Hutcherson baked his way into our hearts as the baker's boy turned Tribute in The Hunger Game series, we should have known there was nothing the boy couldn't do. The role of Peeta, a semi-wealthy boy from an unhappy home, makes him go from a sweet and scared boy to a brainwashed killer to an exhausted hero who has seen/lost far too much. After such a prevalent role, the sky is the limit for the actor. But Hutcherson's next post-Hunger Games role is one that was totally unexpected for some of us. It turns out our buddy Peeta has gone indie. Hutcherson is directing his first film in the form of a short project called Ape.
The film, written by Jon Johnstone, tells the story of a schizophrenic man named Travis Wilker, played by Hutcherson, who must conquer the hallucinations that plagued his childhood so that he may regain control of his life. The film was selected for “The Big Script” film incubator from Indigenous Media and Conde Nast Entertainment, a incubator that looks to find emerging filmmakers from young-adult screenplays with the promise that they could see eventually their projects produced into feature-length movie
Hutcherson is so full of surprises; who knew he had a dream to be a director? The actor even owns his own production company, Turkeyfoot Productions, which was greatly involved in the Incubator. In fact, they even worked with Indigenous Media founders Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet and The Black List (an organization that compiles Hollywood executives favorite screenplays) to identify the five screenplays.
The best news about this whole thing is that it won't be hard to actually watch Hutcherson's work in Ape. Conde Nast's part of the bargain is that they will distribute all five of the shorts on their video hub, The Scene.
Hutcherson has already proven himself to be a talented actor. Now we get to see if he's also a talented director. It's a great day to be alive. I forever count my lucky blessings that we aren't living in The Hunger Games universe, so we can see Josh Hutcherson as a talented artiste and not a Tribute.
Editor's Note: This article incorrectly reported the writer of Ape as "Joe Johnstone" instead of "Jon Johnstone." It has been updated with a correction.
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