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'Late Bloomer': Elijah Wood puberty romp looks for shot of Leo, Penn

March 20, 2013|By Steven Zeitchik
  • Elijah Wood is set to play the main character -- a man in his late 20s who's never gone through puberty -- in "Late Bloomer."
Elijah Wood is set to play the main character -- a man in his late 20s who's… (Michael Buckner )

EXCLUSIVE: “Late Bloomer” is one of those conceits for a movie you wish you’d thought of yourself: a man in his late 20s who’s never gone through puberty, then experiences it all in one head-spinning rush after a corrective surgery.

The best part is it’s true.

Based on Ken Baker’s memoir “Man Made,” “Late Bloomer” tells of an adult who seems to experience no sexual or hormonal feelings. He is flummoxed by his lack of desire, then discovers he has a tumor on his pituitary gland.

The movie already has Elijah Wood as its main character. Now it’s getting a testosterone injection of casting, according to a person familiar with the production who was not authorized to talk about it publicly.

Oscar winner Melissa Leo is negotiating to come on to play the man’s mother, while J.K. Simmons is doing the same for the father role. Adding to the “Juno” effect: Olivia Thirlby, who played Ellen Page’s galpal in the 2007 comedy, is in talks to play the main character’s love interest in “Late Bloomer. And Kal Penn is negotiating to star as one of his buddies. While deals aren't finalized, it's shaping up to be a strong cast for the commercial comedy.

The film aims to start shooting as early as this summer. Alcon Entertainment (“The Blind Side”) was originally financing, but the project is now being financed independently and is seeking U.S. distribution.

While in Baker's book the main character is an entertainment reporter, in the latest version of the script it's been changed to a sex therapist (thus cleverly allowing the hero to first feel nothing while surrounded by orgasmic women, then going off-the-wall crazy when he does).

Longtime TV comedy veteran Randall Einhorn is on board to direct. Einhorn is most recently known for executive-producing and directing FX man-dog comedy “Wilfred,” which would seem to give a nice, quirky adult spin to this story of a man-child.

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An 'Office' director blooms into film

Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

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