Dakota Johnson has stepped out of the shadow of the 50 Shades movies in recent years, taking roles in interesting films such as the Suspiria remake, the Tarantino-esque Bad Times At The El Royale, and indies like The Peanut Butter Falcon and Our Friend.
She’s poised to take on another intriguing role, as she’ll star alongside Cooper Raiff in his next movie, Cha Cha Real Smooth.
Raiff just wrote, starred and directed in the impressive campus romance Shithouse, and will do the same with this film, which will see him play a bar/bat mitzvah DJ. He’s the guy who gets people dancing at the party, and at some point he strikes up a friendship with a young mother – played by Johnson – and her autistic daughter.
Since Shithouse won the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s canceled SXSW festival, Raiff has been one of the hottest names on the indie circuit. That led to Cha Cha Real Smooth becoming a coveted project which has already reportedly gotten multiple bidders.
Johnson is smart and knows when to latch onto a potential rising star. Plus it helps that Picturestart are overseeing the project, and they just worked with her on Am I OK?, which wrapped production just last week.
Some of the most impressive aspects of Shithouse were the authentic chemistry between its two leads, and how it was able to be both sweet and funny but also quietly devastating. Will Cha Cha Real Smooth be similar? The titles couldn’t be different, so maybe Raiff is aiming for something tonally different this time around.
Johnson is continuing her run of interesting projects, as she’ll next be seen in Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s directorial debut The Lost Daughter as well as the aforementuoned drama Am I OK?, which is being directed by married comedians Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, also in their feature directorial debut.