Garden State may have taken much of the world by storm back in 2004, but it's been six years since Zach Braff romanced Natalie Portman on the big screen, dodging flaming arrows, holding animal funerals, capturing tears, and visiting abysses in a quirk fest that polarized audiences into a love-it-or-hate-it dichotomy. Rather than continuing his cinematic directorial career, the actor went back to Scrubs and practiced his directorial talents on the small screen. But now that Scrubs is over, Braff is hanging out in New York and getting back on track by starring in a new theatrical production, prepping his next directorial gig, and writing a new script and play.

In a chat with Time Out New York, Braff revealed that he's currently working on his next script -- "something more in the Garden State oeuvre" -- but there's a different gig he'll direct first. It seems the actor/director is still attached to that romcom called Swingles, which he joined in May of last year. The script has gone through a few incarnations, but will -- in some way -- deal with bachelors, weddings, and the need for wingmen. Basically, it's a typical romcom that stars Cameron Diaz (unless she's since left the project), and will get cooking this fall or winter if things go smoothly.

But I imagine patience will be a virtue if you're waiting for the next film written and directed by Braff. The actor is "infatuated" with the theater, and busy not only with his own play, but also a new production by Paul Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy) called Trust, which co-stars Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), Bobby Cannavale (from stage, TV, and screen), and Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster. I caught a preview performance on Saturday, and though the kinks are still being ironed out, it's a rather interesting look at the many ways domination can manifest in one's life and relationships, with Braff playing a manipulative character who hides behind an Andrew Largeman-like persona. (He even, at one point, talks about being numb and then finally starting to live through love.)

Though I'm a fan of Garden State, I'm hoping his romance with the New York stage will start pushing him in new directions. Between a Trust gig that actually uses similar lines to GS and something in the GS oeuvre, it's time to see him branch out -- in something other than the typical romcom fare.

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CATEGORIES Cinematical