Close your eyes. Think of a poet. Does he look like Jack Black?

By Harriet Staff

Jack Black, fresh off Kung Fu Panda 2, will star in the comedy Bailout(working title), according to Indiewire. The film is based on Jess Walter's novel The Financial Lives of the Poets, a National Book Award finalist, and will be directed by Michael Winterbottom.  Black will play Matt Prior, protagonist of the novel, described by Publisher's Weekly thusly:

Matt Prior quits his job as a business reporter to start, a Web site featuring poetry about finance, or money-lit. Unsurprisingly, it tanks, and Matt returns to the newspaper, only to be laid off with a meager severance package. Now not only are the Priors in danger of losing their house, but Matt is convinced that his wife, Lisa, is having an affair with an old boyfriend she rediscovered during her lengthy nightly Facebook sessions. With two sons in overpriced Catholic school and his increasingly senile father to support, Matt’s bank accounts dwindle amid his financial planner’s dire predictions (diagnosis: fiscal Ebola). When an appealing but illegal moneymaking opportunity presents itself, Matt jumps at the chance. The decision to include snippets of Matt’s poetry in the novel was a risky one, but Walter pulls it off, never resorting to pretension or overused metaphors for life’s meltdowns.

No word yet on whether the film will employ overused metaphors.

Also no word yet on whether Jack Black will ever team with Kyle Gass for a biopic on Verlaine and Rimbaud.

Originally Published: May 23rd, 2011