would appear that Jim Carrey is entering another one of his quality filmmaking phases, which is a happy occasion for anyone who prefers Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to, say, The Number 23 (the reverse isn’t psychologically possible, is it?). Currently, he’s starring in Yes Man, a formulaic romantic comedy that has a shot at being above-average on account of its director, Peyton Reed. And once he’s wrapped Robert Zemeckis’s performance capture rendition of A Christmas Carol, he’ll start work on I Love You, Phillip Morris, the fact-based dark comedy about Steven Russell, a brilliant con man who escaped from prison four times in order to reunite with his one-time cellmate (who shares a name with a certain cigarette manufacturer).

Obviously, this film doesn’t work if the actor cast as Phillip Morris fails to convince as the kind of guy you’d bust out of the clink just to slam in the ass a few times. This is a rare quality in Hollywood. Basically, you’ve two options: Ewan McGregor and Brian Bosworth. To the surprise of no one, the director/screenwriter team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa went with the guy who never got flattened by Bo Jackson.

I think this is an egregious missed opportunity, but McGregor’s still pretty good; if we’re lucky, Ficarra and Requa will let him spend most of the movie with his tackle hanging out like in Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book. And while I hated the piss out of the Ficarra/Requa Bad News Bears update, the bastards wrote Bad Santa; there’s every reason to believe that this could be something special.

I Love You, Phillip Morris is set to begin shooting next spring. Andrew Lazar and Far Shariat are producing, while Luc Besson will exec (kind of an odd project for him, no?).