Everyone knows Zooey Deschanel … for supporting roles. It all started in Almost Famous in which Deschanel played an aspiring rock writer’s rebellious older sister and from there transitioned into portraying Jovie, Buddy the Elf’s love interest, Sarah Jessica Parker’s go-to gal in Failure to Launch, Mark Wahlberg’s source of comfort in The Happening and more. Yes, some may consider the role of Summer in (500) Days of Summer a primary one, but who can deny that that movie truly belonged to Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Clearly Deschanel has earned her chance to take the lead and, according to Production Weekly, that time has come.
Deschanel is in negotiations to play Ada Lovelace in Enchantress of Numbers. Ada who? A quick Google search reveals that Ada Lovelace was an English writer in the nineteenth century. But I’m not talking novels or poetry; Lovelace was well know for her work on the analytical engine, a very early computer. In fact, a portion of her notes on the device are widely recognized as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine, ultimately earning her the title of the world’s first computer programmer.
Now this is an interesting spin on the typical period piece. Lovelace was the only child of Lord Byron and eventually married Earl of Lovelace making her a countess and justifying an elaborate wardrobe, however, Enchantress of Numbers should deviate significantly from the lot. Rather than have romantic gripes or political troubles at the core of this film, we’re getting a woman who Charles Babbage, the originator of the concept of the programmable computer, dubbed “The Enchantress of Numbers.”
Between finally getting the opportunity to see Deschanel headline, in a non-quirky role nonetheless, and having the subject matter be a machine the modern world is so deeply dependent on, Enchantress of Numbers is costume drama bound to attract an unlikely crowd. Bruce Beresford will get behind the lens when filming commences in the fall.
By Perri Nemiroff