Steve Carell to lead new drama from director of ‘Once.’

‘Once’ director John Carney has been tapped to direct Steve Carell in the Jamie Linden-scripted drama ‘Dogs of Babel.’

Adapted from Carolyn Parkhurst’s debut novel of the same name, the story follows Paul Iverson, a linguistics professor, who returns home one day to find his wife dead in their backyard. Police rule her death an accident, but Paul is not quite sure. The only witness to her death is their dog Lorelei. In Paul’s grief-stricken search for answers, he endeavors to teach Lorelei to talk in the hopes that he can uncover what happened the day his wife died.

It is not known where the project sits on Carell’s slate, the ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ star’s future projects include ‘Great Hope Springs’ in which the funnyman co-stars with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, the Bennett Miller-directed drama ‘Foxcatcher’ with Channing Tatum, and the magician comedy ‘Burt Wonderstone’ co-starring Jim Carrey.

Irish helmer Carney recently finished up shooting his independent supernatural drama ‘The Rafters.’ The film centers on an old guesthouse in the Aran Islands, as two American backpackers vie for the affections of a young woman who is, literally, haunted by her past. Marcella Plunkett, Killian Scott, Sean Donegan, Maire O’Neill, and Des Nealon star.