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Deals in the News, October 25, 2012

There has been a Hugh Grant sighting. At least in the trades. He is set to reteam with director Marc Lawrence on a romantic comedy. This should not be earth shaking news—it will mark his fourth romantic comedy with Lawrence (following Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics and Did You Hear About the Morgans?). So why does this feel so remarkable? Maybe because after emerging from career hibernation to take a role in the innovative and risky Cloud Atlas, it seemed like the Hugh Grant who used to star in films that were, well a little more innovative and risky might be poised for a comeback.

Hugh could be written off as a one-trick pony: puppy-dog eyes, great hair, charming stammer, etc. But over the years he's brought that bag of tricks to some really interesting films, from 1987's Maurice to 1994's Four Weddings and a Funeral to 2002's About a Boy—let alone his big commercial successes like the Bridget Jones films and later Richard Curtis projects Notting Hill and Love, Actually. So, aside from some unfortunate tabloid situations and a Jay Leno mea culpa, Hugh has a lot to be proud of! Until he writes a memoir, we can only guess why Hugh chooses the projects he chooses; it seems to be based on filmmaker relationships more than anything else. It is hard to imagine that people aren't calling about him constantly, but how the offers are handled is between him and his agent. Grant is represented by CAA's Beth Swofford, but only recently rejoined the agency after several years without an agent at all, which is very telling. At the end of the day, while there's no doubt he's playing it safe with this latest film, it'll be good to see his mug on posters again.