Matthew McConaughey is reteaming with his Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater for his newest role—so does that mean we can expect more wisdom from pot-smoking character David Wooderson? Not so much, actually. McConaughey—and Rip Torn!—joins the black comedy Bernie, which is surprisingly based on a true story, alongside Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine. The actor’s role sounds like it couldn’t be farther from Wooderson.
The story goes like this: Black portrays Bernie, a funeral home director in small-town Texas who makes friends with a widow played by Shirley MacLaine. Black eventually kills her and keeps her body in the freezer. The town goes crazy with happiness! (Note: That kind of irony makes this exactly my kind of movie.) McConaughey pops up as DA Danny Buck Davidson, which follows the actor’s smart legal turns in movies like A Time to Kill. Torn, meanwhile, plays the defense lawyer who’ll go head-to-head with McConaughey. The movie is based on a riveting story that ran in Texas Monthly back in 1998. According to the first few paragraphs of the piece, the real-life Danny Buck, who McConaughey’s portraying, can sing “Amazing Grace” like no one else and is “bulldog-faced.” I get the bulldog part, sure, but McConaughey singing? I’d die to see that. Does People’s oft-Sexiest Man Alive turn in Bernie intrigue you? And who’d win in a McConaughey-Torn showdown?