Actor Noah Wyle, alumni of television's hit hospital drama ER, and more recently star of TNT's rip-offs of homages to Raiders of the Lost Ark known as The Librarian: Quest for the Spear and Return to King Solomon's Mines, is set to make his feature directorial debut with the romantic comedy Prince Test for Dolphin Entertainment and producers Peter Sussman, Arthur Sarkissian and Morris Levy. The film, written by first-timer and recent USC film grad Rachel Weinhaus (with a rewrite by J.P. Manoux), centers on a female private investigator who uses somewhat unorthodox and deceptive techniques to gauge the fidelity of the married men she investigates.

Wyle, who's other acting credits include some pretty good work as Steve Jobs in Pirates of Silicon Valley, Enough and one of my favorite films, Donnie Darko, is, of course, an unproven director. Add to that a script that, while it has a somewhat interesting premise, was nevertheless written by someone with no prior feature credits or experience. Even the person they tapped to do the rewrite doesn't have any feature credits. I don't know about you, but to me this project is really starting to sound like a bad idea with a pretty good chance of failure. I realize that people have to start somewhere and everyone is a first-timer at one point, but usually when the director has never directed before, producers will often have a writer on-board with a little experience under his or her belt -- just to give the project a fighting chance of success.

As the film is being financed by freshman feature backers Dolphin Entertainment (who are primarily known for their TV movies) and, as an indie production, most-likely has a relatively small budget, I guess Dolphin feels an unproven director and writers are worth the financial risk. But really, who knows what their reasons are? Whatever they might be, I really hope they know something I don't know -- for their sake. No word on casting for Prince Test (which, if they get the right actors, would help) but production is set to begin this April in Chicago.