Director Ruben Fleischer blew a shotgun shell-sized hole into cinema when he debuted Zombieland’s gory and silly shenanigans to the world, and followed that up with the underrated caper comedy 30 Minutes or Less. He then directed the hell of out of the derivativeness that was Gangster Squad. If there is a pattern to be followed here, it can be assumed that his next feature will just be people shooting guns at bombs while cursing, but he’s going in a completely different direction, as he enters discussions to take on Disney’s Overnight, a family-friendly adventure comedy. Of course!
I’m totally on board with this concept, however, as THR describes the film as "Home Alone in an FAO Scwartz-esque toy store. The story will center on a divorced and absent-minded father and his son trying to rebuild their relationship (I could have saved all kinds of past relationships in a giant toy store.) The plot will also involve the father having to defuse a hostage situation. And if that Home Alone comparison means anything, we could be seeing a lifesize version of the game Mouse Trap, with a bunch of toys used as weaponry.
Fleischer is a guy with an eye on big stunts and momentum, so I expect some high stakes excitement. Producing through Disney is Neal Moritz, who is best known for his action and high concept comedies such as the Fast and Furious franchise and Evan Almighty, as well as both of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Jump Street films. Oren Uziel, who took a pass on the 22 Jump Street script, wrote the Overnight screenplay. His other credits are all coming in the future, including the currently filming comedy horror Kitchen Sink, and both the unconfirmed Mortal Kombat remake and a fourth Men in Black film.
This movie has a chance to be huge, assuming they hire the right actors. Overnight was originally set up as a Columbia/Sony pic, but Disney was quick to nab it a year ago when it went into turnaround. I can’t imagine they plunk some hack in the lead role, especially considering Fleischer has worked with Woody Harrelson, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, and so on.
Wouldn’t it be wild if they got Macaulay Culkin to play the dad? (hands on cheeks) Ahhhh!
For another look at the kind of comedic direction Fleischer is good at, check out the video below, which compiles every episode of the Ford-sponsored YouTube series Escape My Life, starring Natasha Leggero and Joe Lo Truglio. He co-directed some of the episodes with Ben Zlotucha.